On Friday, April 17, students were seen walking around campus covered from head to toe in various colors, celebrating Holi.
The cultural event included music, free food and of course, the opportunity to cover friends with the colorful Indian powder.
Sophomore Jasmine Raghunandan, co-president South Asian Student Association, took part in making this event possible Friday afternoon.
According to Raghunandan, “Traditionally in Indian culture, Holi is a welcoming of spring, and that’s why they throw the colored powder around.”
Holi is an annual ceremony that happens in different villages all over India. It usually occurs the day spring arrives. Because of the bad weather, it was impossible to schedule the celebration on the actual day.
The event received a large attendance, including a handful of students who participated in this Indian tradition for the first time, such as Aaron Alberico ’16.
“This is the best thing I’ve been to on campus this entire year. It was amazing,” said Alberico. “I heard about it from my friends. They’ve been trying to convince me to go for years and this was the first year I went and I’m so happy I did.”
By around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, little bags of color imported from India were placed on the ground. The powder contained in the packets was fine and colorful.
Before long, everyone crowded in a circle and right after a short countdown, students charged for the packets of color and began throwing and pouring the powder all over each other. A few rounds of this went on until 5 p.m.
Raghunandan thinks that the event is a great way to represent diversity. “A lot of people want to think of it as a really big color run and that’s sometimes how it gets marketed. What we want to remind people is that it’s a traditional Indian celebration and that’s why we keep the name of the event Holi,” said Raghunandan.
“When you look at our population at Fairfield, it looks like we are heavily Caucasian and not so much of everything else. But when we have these big events, it shows that inside of ourselves we are as diverse as we would like to be because we are respecting different cultures,” she continued.
For Chris Gutman ‘15, “Holi is a celebration of not just colors, but of love too. The festival seems to be based on loving one another for the sake of loving humanity and equality, which is something that I think translates well to Jesuit values, as well as the values the university expects us to uphold.”
Many students participated and walked away covered in powder with friends old and new. “I went with people that I wasn’t really close with and it just made us closer and now we are best friends,” said Eemie Jebara ’17.
This event expresses diversity and color. Undergraduate students from India come to Fairfield to celebrate this fun tradition, as well as interact and educate students who don’t know much about Indian culture. Raghunandan feels that, “For a lot of first-years, this may be their first experience with anything that has to do with a different culture. It’s good to have them understand what a global perspective really is because the outside world is so different from wherever you come from.”
Sophomore Emily Ripple ’who attended the event for the first time this year advises students to “definitely go next year because it’s really fun to get your friends covered in multiple colors. It’s something different to do towards the end of the year.”