By Veronica Riojas
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
The University of the Incarnate Word celebrated the beginning of spring April 6 with the traditional Indian celebration of Holi.
Holi, a Hindu tradition where people throw brightly colored, perfumed powder at each other, signifies the beginning of spring in India. The different-colored powders symbolize light overcoming darkness.
More than 60 students participated in this year’s festivities on Dubuis Lawn.
Freshman Alex Rodriguez came across the festival by accident but will make sure to keep the event on his calendar for next year.
“My only class today got cancelled and as I was walking back to the parking garage I noticed they were setting up for this,” Rodriguez said. “I was already wearing a white shirt, so I thought ‘why not’? It was super-fun and I want to do it again next year.”
Organizers of the event requested participants bring white clothing in order for the colors to be seen. They also had white shirts available for last-minute participants and those who forgot to bring theirs. International Affairs, University Mission and Ministry, UIW Asian Culture and History Club hosted the event. Various types of South Asian and Indian food were available as well as other activities.
Sophomores Lauren Perez and Savannah Miller went for the Henna art. Henna is the name used for dye preparations derived from plants. It is a form of temporary tattooing.
“Our class ended late so we missed the color-throwing but we both really wanted to get Henna art done on our hands,” Perez said.
“I was an art major before I came to UIW and I am in love with the Henna designs,” Miller said. “ I wish I could learn how to draw them and do it myself.”
Along with the food, music, color and art there was a dance performance featuring members of the Asian Culture Club. They danced to Bollywood music. Bollywood is often referred to as Indian cinema. However, Bollywood only encompasses the Hindi language film industry — Hindi being one of the official languages of India.
“India has many official languages,” political science major Gabby Cruz said. “If I hadn’t come to Holi I wouldn’t have known that. This whole festival is a learning experience.”
The music and dancing were as vibrant as the colors being thrown minutes before. The performers put in a great effort and the crowd loved it.
“I love it,” said Miranda Lopez, an international student from Mexico who is interested in Indian culture. “It just looks so fun and makes me want to join.”
The goal of the festival was to bring students together through cultural celebration. This was a festival where international and domestic students could come together, in pursuit of bringing about cultural exchange.
“I met many new people through this festival,” transfer student Zachary Brown said. “It was a really great time. It’s great to meet people who have the same interests in Indian and Asian cultures as me.
“My last university rarely did cultural festivals like this and it’s a shame because they can bring so many people together. Festivals like Holi can open people up to new cultures in a fun way and get people excited. If we continue having festivals like Holi, and more students become interested and open to different cultures then we can learn more and not be the ignorant Americans that the world sees us as being.”