The Indian Student Association (ISA) brought their traditional festival of colors to Pittsburg State again to celebrate with both international and domestic students.
ISA hosted Holi, the festival of colors, Saturday, April 6, in the Carnie Smith Stadium parking lot. The festival was filled with music, colors, and fun for Pitt State students of all backgrounds.
“The reason for us to celebrate Holi is like it’s called the victory of good over evil, that’s why we celebrate it, and also in India is like the weather changes from spring to winter, so for the welcome of winter we celebrate this event,” said Abhiraj Phkor, ISA President. “And this is like a multiculturalism event, so we believe in diversity, that’s why we do events over here on the campus.”
Another reason Phkor enjoys brining Holi to Pitt State to celebrate is that it’s a way for students to de-stress from classes, homework, and the like.
“… Just so people can come out and enjoy the events and since they’re busy with their exams and all,” he said. “So I think this is the best way to just like be stress-free and play with colors.”
Students who attended the festival also felt that it was a fun and different experience than what is typically celebrated in America, such as for Montse Garcia, sophomore in accounting, Brittany Arendt, junior in child development, and Katrina Poulsen, senior in psychology, who went to Holi together.
“This is just unique, they like to have fun,” Arendt said. “This is just like not a normal holiday we would celebrate, if that makes any sense.”
Arendt described the celebration as “really awesome.” Her friends felt similarly.
“We love it,” Garcia said. “… This is a lot of fun, like this should be done more often just for fun.”
One of their favorite parts about the festival was getting to meet so many new people.
“It’s cool because you don’t know anyone, but you just run up to people and throw chalk at them and stuff, so it’s nice to be able to walk up to someone your don’t know and have fun,” Poulsen said.
Phkor said that the way Holi is celebrated in India is quite similar to how ISA organized it at Pitt State.
“Similarly, we just play with powder colors and then we play with water and we just sprinkle water on each other and, yeah, it’s fun.”
For many who attended, the celebration was different from how holidays are celebrated in their own culture, which was one aspect attendants really enjoyed.
“I think that it’s very fun,” said Sharnnel Sumane, graduate student in MBA. “This is like my first time here, like participating, and so I think it’s just like a new experience for me, fun learning experience for me.”
Sumane’s favorite part of the festival was all the different colors involved.
“I think it’s really great because we got to know a lot of different cultures … because, you know, it’s always good to learn about other people’s cultures,” Sumane said.
Attendants ranged from Pitt State students to also community members and children. The festival provided a colorful and open atmosphere to learn about Indian culture.
“The favorite part is like all the people without religion, like no religion on the place, and all the people come here and they just celebrate the event,” Phkor said. “They feel like they are at home and they just make new friends and that’s the main reason why I like this event, just so we can invite more people and we can have fun.”