Pitt State students and Pittsburg community members will have the opportunity to celebrate this ancient festival from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday April 6, near Gorilla Village in the Carnie Smith Stadium parking lot. Holi, sometimes known as the festival of colors, is one of India’s most popular Hindu festivals.
“The Holi festival commemorates the victory of good over evil,” said Abhirajsinh Thakor, junior in automotive technology and president of the Indian Student Association (ISA). “It is festival to show unity and multiculturalism. In fact, that is how we celebrate in India irrespective of the religion.”
The Indian Student Association has been celebrating Holi on campus for the past eight years, according to Thakor.
Although the festival comes from Hinduism, it can be celebrated by any person and is often a celebrated as a way to welcome Spring.
“Holi helps to bring the society together and strengthen the secular fabric of our country,” said Rohit Thyagaraj, junior in graphics and imaging technology. “The festival is celebrated by people of different religions, everybody likes to be a part of such a colorful and joyous festival. The many colorful powders represent Hindu gods, as well as the colors of nature.”
The festival of colors will be celebrated as it is in India, with many colored powders available to be thrown.
“People will spend the day smearing colored powder all over each other’s faces, throwing colored water at each other, having parties, and dancing under water sprinklers,” Thakor said. “Special Holi events with music, rain dances, and colors will be organized. We will be throwing colors every 20 minutes, so people can enjoy colors and have fun. The colors we are using (are) organic colors and will get off easily once they take shower.”
Akash Verma, junior in automotive technology, plans to attend the event and said that although he has not been at PSU for previous celebrations.
“It seems really cool and seems exactly how we would celebrate in India with liquid color, with powder color,” Verma said.
Verma said he is excited to be able to celebrate Holi and his culture with other non-Indian students.
“The most exciting thing about the event will be celebrating with Americans which I have never done before, in India,” Verma said. “Americans are (wanting) to explore more and I have seen they are much excited about it… because they have only seen televisions or YouTube… they have never celebrated it.”
Thakor said he hopes the event will promote multiculturalism on campus and throughout the Pittsburg community.
“As an ISA president, my vision is to promote multiculturalism in the campus and hence in the Pittsburg community by the principles of togetherness, love and freedom,” Thakor said. “Moreover, this would help me to understand that how can I, as a representative of the Indian diaspora, be able to promote Indian culture in an American way so that ISA can be a champion of inclusiveness and cooperation. I am very excited for the event as I want to share our culture with Americans and other international Students and make their weekend exciting with some music and fun.”
The event is free and open to PSU students and the community, and free soft drinks will be provided. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to April 7 at the same location.