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The Battalion

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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One step away
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Indian Aggies celebrate Holi

Photo by Photo by Kevin Chou

The Indian Graduate Student Association (IGSA) hosts a Holi celebration at Texas

A&M each year on Simpson Drill Field.

Once white T-shirts became shades of blue, red and yellow as participants in this year’s HoliFest were hit with pigment powders as they danced to music in Simpson Drill Field.

Known for bright colors, love and unity, Holi is an Indian Festival to celebrate the coming of the spring season and the victory of good over evil. Holi was held by the Indian Graduate Student Association (ISGA), Hindu Student Association, and India Association on March 26. Volunteers handed out free food, drinks, and pigment powders to begin the event, and eventually sent a second round of pigment powders out to the crowd while a water hose sprayed the participants.

Yeshaswy Rajupalepu, vice president of ISGA and event coordinator, said that the planning for this event began in January. Rajupalepu said the event was already a success only two hours into the schedule.

“This is one of the biggest events of the year for us,” Rajupalepu said. “It’s not enough to thank the cadets for letting us use the field.”

Sree Lakshmi, the vice president of ISGA and event coordinator, said that this was the tenth year of the festival at Texas A&M.

“We look at this event as a way to improve the campus climate,” Bajaj said. “It gives us a way to share our own culture.”

Senior Janet Lopez was attending the event for the third year in a row with friends.

“This is our third year coming here,” Lopez said. “To see a bunch of Aggies coming together and celebrate unity is what it is all about.”

Sagar Lankala, a former graduate student and member of the Indian Graduate Student Association, drove from Dallas to attend Holi. Lankala said the celebration in India is a way for people who speak different languages and practice different religions to come out and celebrate unity with colors.

“The festival in India celebrates unity,” Lankala said. “It’s fun to come together as a community and celebrate.”

Sumit Sharma, an agromomy PhD student, came to Holi with friends associated through the Aggie Toastmaters, an organization on campus. Sharma is from India and said that he has been celebrating Holi since he was a child.

“I stopped doing it while I was growing up, but when I moved to the United States I saw these people doing it and I had to join in,” Sharma said. “The whole campus comes together as a family; I love it.”


Freshman Sabha Dosani, who at the time was covered from head to toe in various pigment powders from the festival, said she came to see people throw color on each other, and the event went beyond her expectations.

“It seemed like so much fun, I wanted to see a lot of people throw color on each other,” Dosani said. “It makes me feel lively and energetic because of all the colors on me.

Aritra Biswas, President of the Indian Graduate Student Association, said that the event was a way to promote inclusion on campus.

“It allows us to do something about inclusion,” Biswas said. “This crowd is very diverse.”

Branathi Gompa, a member of the Indian Graduate Student Association, said she volunteered at one of the four booths around the field because of her love of Holi.

“We can welcome spring by playing with colors and its showcasing Indian culture,” Gompa said.

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