Students celebrate Hindu festival


Clouds of color formed in the air as students simultaneously tossed up powders of purple, green, pink and yellow within the densely packed Collins courtyard.

As they threw powder and smeared it in each other’s faces, people were painted from head to toe in vibrant colors. People laughed and smiled with dappled faces, dancing in their stained clothes as upbeat music played.

On Friday, the Indian Student Association and the Asian Cultural Center hosted a celebration of Holi, a traditional Hindu spring festival. The event was originally scheduled for March 6, but was rescheduled due to weather.

The event was free and open to everyone. People were required to sign a form to indicate they consented to having the colored powder thrown at them before they could participate in the 

Sushuma Yarlagadda, culture chair of the Indian Student Organization, described Holi as a festival “with both religious and cultural 

“It represents the triumph of good over evil,” she said.

It was her first time attending a celebration of the festival, she said. She was excited to participate in the color-throwing, which is the main part of the event.

The festival only contained a portion of the Holi’s traditions, Yarlagadda said. The event featured music, dancing and color-throwing.

“We’re keeping it simple,” she said.

Holi opened with an introduction from Haseeb Mohideen, next year’s co-president of the Indian Student Organization. He briefly explained the history and legends behind the ancient festival and its significance to Hinduism.

Mohideen explained the legend of a demon king who ordered his evil sister, Holika, to kill his devout son, Prahlada. Holika attempted to kill Prahlada by placing him in the fire, but he was protected from harm by the Hindu god Vishnu.

Holi is more than simply a fun, colorful event, he said.

“It’s also a time to remember the mythology that goes behind it,” he said.

Aakriti Gera, next year’s international student liaison for the Indian Student Association, said she was 
looking forward to the event. She celebrates Holi every year in India, she said.

“Holi is a really special time for me,” she said. “The best part is spending time out in the sun with friends.”

Arielle Soussan said she learned about the event by keeping up with the events at Collins. She said she was looking forward to the color-throwing and “having everyone be really confused about her face.” She said she did not intend to wash the color off immediately.

“I want to be colorful for as long as possible,” she said.

Vinayak Vedantam said he liked the unrestrained 
nature of the event.

“It’s great,” he said. 
“Everyone seems to let go of their inhibitions,”

Gabbey Tharp said she enjoyed participating in Holi, and she particularly liked the event’s positive 

“I think, especially during this time of year where everyone is stressed about finals, it’s a great to have such a happy festival,” 
she said.

Source: Indiana Daily Student