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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Color Craze

 
 

Red, green, yellow, blue, orange, purple a frenzy of Aggies color-splattered from head to toe. Groups of people dancing, wrestling and crowd surfing with friends they had met only 10 minutes before. This is what a passerby might have witnessed Sunday at Simpson Drill Field for the Holi Festival.
Holi is an annual event hosted jointly by the Hindu Students Association, India Association and Indian Graduate Student Association. Also known as I-Color, Holi is the second of eight events to be presented by the International Student Organization as part of International Week.
Anuj Chaudhry, president and founder of Indian Graduate Student Association, said Holi offers a sense of freedom.
“Holi is a time to go crazy, dance like nobody’s watching, and that’s it,” the electrical engineering doctoral student said. “This is one time when people can act like there are no rules or regulations.”
The inspiration for this festival rose out of a religious story involving the Hindu goddess Holika who is said to have burned up when the forces of good triumphed over evil. Over time, the purpose of Holi has changed making it more inviting to non-Indian cultures said Veena Pawate, senior biology major and president of Hindu Students Association.
“Holi has turned into a celebration of spring. It is a time to forget about everybody’s background or beliefs,” Pawate said.
Chaudry said Holi offers a unique experience of diversity.
Everyone is covered in paint, Chaudry said. After a while, you cannot tell who belongs to which race. Everyone looks the same, and we are able to forget our differences.
Hundreds of students smeared color on each other by hugging, making handprints on shirts and shooting toy guns full of colored water. Participants were soaked by buckets of water, then shook it off and laughed.
Maggie Curtis, senior marketing major, said she is a frequenter of the festival.
I’ve been to Holi every year since I started coming to A&M,” she said. “I always love being painted with color, and crowd surfing.
Tables advertising international internships and charities bordered the field. A student branch of Child Rights and You, CRY, a child rights advocacy organization, sold Holi T-shirts to send money overseas.
“We have noticed that people are in a better mood during Holi, so they may be more willing to support our cause,” said Avinash Vem, electrical engineering graduate student and president for the student organization of CRY.
Brijesh Angira, plant breeding graduate student and president of the International Student Association, said International Week highlights campus diversity.
I-Week is a very old tradition, started in 1990, Angira said. ISA has two goals for I-Week. One is to bring diversity to campus, and the other is to build a bridge between international students and domestic students.
I-Week will continue with I-Exhibit on Monday and will conclude with I-Buffet on Friday. Other events include I-Wedding, I-Fashion and I-History. Each event focuses on a specific aspect of the international community such as talents, on-campus involvement, wedding customs, clothing, history and food.
Shweta Rathi, management information systems graduate student and president of India Association, said she assisted organizing Holi and plans to perform with her organization in the international dance competition, I-Show, later in the week.
“I enjoy I-Week because it allows me to interact with other cultures,” Rathi said. “It brings us together.
Events are open to students of all cultures. I-Show, I-Fashion and I-Talent require attendees to purchase tickets at the door. Including Holi attendance, I-Week could attract as many as 3,000 students, Angira said.

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