Holi festival celebrates Hindu culture, campus diversity

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Students participate in the Hindu festival Holi on South Mall Saturday afternoon by tossing rang, a colored powder, at others. The festival welcomes the beginning of spring and is celebrated around the world.

Photo Credit: Shannon Kintner | Daily Texan Staff

Yellow, pink and blue powder flew across campus as students welcomed the arrival of spring and celebrated the Hindu festival Holi on Saturday.

Hosted by the Hindu Students Association, hundrends of students participated in Holi on the Main Mall through the traditional throwing of colorful powders. Holi, or the Festival of Colors, is a festival observing the beginning of spring and is celebrated by Hindus across the world.

Public health sophomore Navya Singirikonda said this commemoration is in honor of the god Krishna and his desire to be like everybody else.

“As a child, he went to his mother and continuously asked her why he was darker than the other kids,” Singirikonda said. “His mother then took color powder and covered all the kids so they would ultimately look the same.”

The idea of welcoming spring, unity and joy are the central themes of Holi, Singirikonda said.

Holi included participants throwing rang, or colored powder, at each other while music spun by DJ Anish played in the background.

Between each round, participants were given water balloons to throw at each other.

“While it is a religiously motivated event, it is celebrated culturally throughout the region,” Singirikonda said.

Suwetha Amsavelu, Plan II and biology senior said seeing so many different students participate was truly remarkable.

“In the end Holi is a religious event, so it is a true testament to how open the UT community really is when you see people of all backgrounds come and check out this event,” Amsavelu said.

Amsavelu said she started participating in Holi more upon arriving at UT than in her hometown.

“It is a social gathering and really a fun time,” Amsavelu said. “It is just a good opportunity to be with friends and other students.”

Jaimin Patel, HSA president and biochemistry senior, said this year’s festival had the largest attendance ever with approximately 3,000 participants.

Patel said the festival was also covered by Longhorn Network which brought a new level of excitement to the event.

“When everyone comes to Holi, there are various races and skin colors, but by the time they leave, you cannot tell the difference because everyone is covered in color,” Patel said.