Bright reds, greens, yellows and pinks were seen flying through the air last Wednesday in celebration of the second annual Holi festival. Also known as the festival of colors, Holi is a Hindu holiday celebrating the coming of Spring that is celebrated with brightly colored powder that celebrators can either fling at others or swipe on their cheeks. There was free Indian food at the event made by the international students involved. The event was meant to take place the previous week but was rescheduled to Wednesday due to the rain.
While this event was meant to make international students feel more at home it isn’t just for international students. All people, regardless of faith or background, were welcome.
Fumi Cheever, assistant director of International Student Services (ISS), said the festival was organized with the help of Indian and Nepali students who could provide input thanks to their first-hand experience.
“We have a great number of Indian students and Nepali students, they’re the ones who usually celebrate this Holi festival. We talked about that with students and they wanted to celebrate that and bring it on campus,” Cheever said. “The Indian students are there to celebrate, it’s their home away from home country, too, so it’s important to provide [an] opportunity to welcome them and give them an opportunity to celebrate what they usually do in the home country.”
Deir Montiel, senior and program assistant for International Student Services, helped coordinate the event and believed that Holi is an event for all people regardless of faith or skin color.
“Even though we are all different colors we are all the same color inside our hearts, so that’s just kind of the whole point. Regardless of religion and regardless of what you believe in,” Montiel said. “My favorite part has been just seeing the other people together. There’s a couple people who may not have known each other, or don’t know people around, so it’s just an opportunity for them to come and you know, meet people and make friends–eat some dinner.”
Anne Davies, a student returning for a bachelor of general studies, attended the event and loved it.
“I grew up in all this culture–my children did as well, and I miss it. I love [Holi], this festival is just gorgeous,” Davies said. “It celebrates spring, it celebrates life, it celebrates each other. Not to mention they have great food. I love Indian food and I miss it so much, so this is a great opportunity. I love being here.”