Indian holiday brings color and laughter

Traditional festival hosted by Indian Students Association beloved by students

STUDENTS GATHERED on Robison Field to throw colorful powder in celebration of the festival of colors.

This last weekend, many holidays were celebrated. Yes, there was Easter, but celebrated right alongside it was a Hindu holiday–Holi. Typically celebrated on the last full moon of the lunar month of Phalguna, Holi fell on Thursday, March 24, this year and was celebrated by the RPI community on Saturday, March 26.

Originating in India and Nepal as a festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and a time of thanksgiving, Holi is celebrated around the world as a time to celebrate happiness, spring time, and love. As members of the community gather, each is given colored powder and colored water to throw at one another while dancing to music and feasting.

This event was hosted by the Indian Student Association on Robison Field. Students were issued tickets which could be turned in for bags of colored powder. After a “round,” an empty bag could be turned in for a full bag. Some carried water guns or water bottles, splashing students left and right, leaving a more permanent stain in their clothing.

Large speakers were set up, blasting a fusion of popular English-speaking and Indian music. Dance battles ensued, which devolved into the crowd collectively jumping and waving their hands in the air. The event was MC’d by Vandan Patel ’18 who charismatically kept the energy of the crowd up and lively.

When inquired over how long the ISA has been hosting this event, President Akshay Bommireddi ’17 responded with “[the] ISA has been doing [Holi] since, at least, five or six years ago. It got big about four, three years ago, when everyone started getting involved on campus. Before it would only bring like thirty people, but we started outreaching to the rest of campus, and to individuals in the community … more and more people have been interested in it. Since its spring time, it’s one of the first events that people go out to.”

This year, it was clearly a success. All who attended, students, members of the community, children, and adults were enjoying themselves immensely. It was even mentioned that it was the best Holi celebration put on by the ISA. Tarun Prabhala ’18, ISA events coordinator said: “This event brings all sorts of cultures together; I really think that that shows a lot about our campus. So, everyone has a lot of fun here and I’m sure that this event will be here for years to come.”

A special thanks to the Indian Student Association for the hard work they put into making this favored event possible and to the students who partook in the celebration.