By Deepali Ramaiah and Kate Stout
“Khele Holi Hum Tere Sang!”
For anyone in the dark about Holi, it is a celebration to welcome the season of Spring as well as the commencement of the harvest season. Holi normally occurs on the day of the full moon in March. It is the apt opportunity to break the ice, renew relationships and create long lasting friendships… with a bit of color! Preparations for the festival are as intense as the celebrations itself: powder colors to be bought, water balloons to be filled and tasty Indian snacks to be prepared.
Thanks to the constant hive of activity at Thunderbird, last Sunday saw a slightly belated celebration of the Indian festival of Holi and the Phoenix spring provided the perfect background of a hot afternoon. For those who hadn’t celebrated the festival before, it brought them a childish sense of enjoyment and many remarked about it.
Nico Godoy San Martin, ‘14 called it “A great opportunity to socialize with the Indian community and just have fun with whole Thunderbird community. The atmosphere was amazing we were playing as kids thanks to the Indian community. Happy Holi!”
Giacomo Paccione, ‘15, agreed with him, finding it to be “A cultural experience based on happiness and enjoyment. The Holi celebration was a brief moment to remind you that you can enjoy like a kid, while learning something new about a culture.”
For most, it was the unique opportunity to experience a celebration that is uncommon to them.
“The Holi festival was one of the funnest and most unique experiences I’ve ever had. The opportunity to share holidays and traditions with different cultures is why I came to Thunderbird!” remarked Casey Sutton, ’15
For Tirza Jova, ’15, it was a memorable first Holi. “It was my first time participating in Holi festivities and I had an incredible time. I loved the bright colors and over all happiness and playfulness around the tradition. Bura na mano, Holi hai (“don’t feel offended, it’s Holi”)!”, she exclaimed.
“Fun with color and water running after one another with joy and energy was a true reflection of global mindset.” said Om Agrawal, ‘14.
Piyush Chandra, ‘15, felt the same way about the mix of cultures: “We talk about diversity at Thunderbird but festivals like Holi, truly make the experience inclusive. The zest of the students was palpable and it’s one of the many moments to cherish, as we celebrate a festival with our extended family.”
The event was painstakingly organized by the Indian Subcontinent Club and they were overjoyed that students were able to partake in a festival so dear to the ISCC. “Holi signifies the victory of good over evil in the Hindu mythology. The tradition involves celebrating the festival by applying colors on faces of people and spraying water on one-another. The festival of Holi was celebrated at Thunderbird, with a lot of enthusiasm and passion. (The Indian Subcontinent Club) ISCC left no stone unturned in planning, marketing, and execution of the event. T-Birds from around the world blended with one another, like the colors of Holi, and it was their excitement and involvement which made the event a huge success. We, the ISCC, would like to thank each and everyone for your support, and taking the time and coming out in such great numbers and spirit.” said Vivek Khurana, ’14.
Fun and festivities aside, ultimately what makes Holi special is the spirit of the festival and those who celebrate it: it is always the same throughout the world, regardless of where it is celebrated.