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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

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Holi celebration brings splash of color to campus

Holi+Festival
Photo by Photo by Dalia Muayad
Holi Festival

Bright colors filled the air as people from all walks of life danced and celebrated the festival of Holi.
Despite a short rain shower, students held Holi 2018 on Simpson Drill field last Sunday. Holi is a Hindu spring festival of colors which celebrates and welcomes all people. Samosas, a traditional Indian snack, were given out for attendees to enjoy, and music blasted through campus.
The Indian Graduate Student Association (IGSA), India Association (IA) and Hindu Students Association (HSA) worked together to host Holi. On a campus full of taditions, all were invited to celebrate one from the other side of the world.
One could hear students running up to each other and saying, “Happy Holi” before throwing colorful powder into the air. Taylor Messinger, manufacturing and engineering technology senior, said she enjoyed the unique, energetic atmosphere of the celebration.
“I think it’s really cool that strangers come up to you and put color on your face,” Messinger said. “The first time that ever happened to me I was really surprised, and then I just embraced it and thought it was really neat how all of these strangers are coming together and having fun.”
Holi is a festival which originates from Hindu religious tradition, according to Pranathi Gompa, IGSA president and construction management graduate student.
“There are multiple legends behind why we celebrate it,” Gompa said. “One of them is that one of the gods has returned home after killing the devil of that era. So with his return, we celebrate it with colors, and that’s how we celebrate Holi. These days, it’s basically everyone meeting and they play with colors and it’s just fun.”
Even back in India, the festival is celebrated by people across all religions, Gompa said.
Hemik Parikh, industrial engineering graduate student, is the vice president of public relations for ISGA and has celebrated Holi in India since he was 15 years old.
“There are two parts of Holi basically in India,” Parikh said. “On the day before we celebrate the color festival, we have a whole huge bonfire and it is a religious resemblance, and we actually light the fire as a way to ask the gods to be with us. And on the second day, a new season begins and we start celebrating with the color festivals.”
Though he has participated in the festival for years, Parikh said his favorite Holi celebration has been during his time at A&M.
“It brings diversity into the picture and we are blessed that we can do something like this at Texas A&M,” Parikh said.
A&M has welcomed and embraced the festival each year, according to management information system graduate student and event coordinator Vamsi Immadi.
“It’s a home away from home and we feel like we are home because of the inclusiveness that A&M gives us,” Immadi said. “This is our chance to showcase that togetherness and celebrate it.”
This year, the coordinators were able to secure sponsors for the event, which allowed more snacks and drinks to be provided. Improvements to sustain the event for a longer period of time were also made, and large packets of color were given to participants, Parikh said.
Even as the rain began to fall on the festival, people danced, laughed and celebrated. Jess Gagnon, first time attendee and athletic assistant, said she was excited to participate in the festival.
“I think events like this are really neat,” Gagnon said. “We get to celebrate all of the different students that are on campus and get exposed to really neat, awesome traditions that really celebrate everyone.”

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  • Holi Festival

    Photo by Photo by Dalia Muayad
  • Students celebrate Holi, a Hindu holiday, with a festival of colors on Simpson Drill Field.

    Photo by Photo by Dalia Muayad
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