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Asian Culture Center celebrates Holi under banner of Asian Cultures Around Campus program

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Apr. 30, 2015

Holi is a spring festival that happens annually in March but, due to weather restrictions, was celebrated April 17 in the Collins Living-Learning Center courtyard.

It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar calendar. Known also as the festival of colors, it is mostly common in India, Nepal and other regions with a significant Indian and Hindu population.

“As an Indian, being able to celebrate Holi is, for me, so much more than just a color fight," said IU junior Lavanya Narayanan. "It represents my culture and where I come from and lets me show my friends that side of my life on a large-scale. In a way, I think it really helps you reconnect with your culture while making memories in a new one."

Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally connected with Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgoan, Uttar Pradesh and Barsana.

“I loved how we were able to take the moment right before we celebrated with color to remember the mythology behind Holi. It took me back to the stories my parents used to tell every year,” said junior Roshni Dhoot. 

Holi is one of several programs the Asian Culture Center hosts that encourage collaboration among departments and student organizations. In addition, the event allowed everyone to participate in a celebration on campus that holds particular cultural significance to many students, faculty, staff and community members.

The event coincided with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and was a collaborative effort between the Asian Culture Center, Collins Living-Learning Center, the Indian Student Association and the Malaysian Student Association. The Asian Culture Center purchased organic, natural colored powder to ensure a safe event for all involved. 

“The Holi celebration was fantastic! What better way to get everyone together, celebrate a wonderful holiday with really interesting historical significance, and ring in spring than a color fight?" Narayanan said. "I thought the celebration was well-executed and well-organized, making sure that everyone was safe but also had a great time.”

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