On Saturday, members of the Kenyon community gathered on Peirce Lawn to celebrate Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors, Love and Spring. Those in attendance enjoyed South Asian food, threw colored powder at one another and participated in a t-shirt and color packet giveaway.
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to the celebration of the eternal love between Hindu gods Radha and Krishna, the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring in India. While Holi was originally celebrated on the Indian subcontinent, it has spread around the world, and despite being a primarily Hindu holiday, it is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. Kenyon’s Holi observance was organized by Kenyon’s South Asian Society, a cultural student organization on campus.
Diya Chabria ’25, the South Asian Society’s event coordinator, explained that the purpose of the Holi celebration at Kenyon was to help Kenyon’s South Asian community feel at home and to offer a fun and exciting event for the Kenyon community. Many South Asian holidays, including Holi, involve spending time with friends and family. Chabria explained that, as a result, many South Asian community members feel homesick during the holidays.
Although Holi was celebrated on March 8 in India, the South Asian Society held the celebration on April 1 to avoid problems that may arise from Ohio’s unpredictable winter weather and to avoid conflicts with other events happening later this month, such as Eid al-Fitr. Unfortunately, the day of the event still had less-than-ideal weather conditions, including rain and high winds. Organizers had to move the food inside to the Peirce Pub during the event as a result of these inclement conditions. “For how the weather was, I would say it was a decent turnout, however I wish it was a little bit bigger,” Chabria wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I know a lot of people leading up to the event were really excited but didn’t come.”
The South Asian Society began planning for the event in December. Alongside members of the organization, 13 volunteers helped put on the event. Volunteers completed a number of tasks, including picking up supplies from the Mount Vernon Walmart and food in Columbus, setting up and cleaning up the event and hosting the T-shirt and color packet giveaways.
Chabria noted that even despite the weather, many of the event’s attendees had a great time. “So many people came up to me afterwards saying they really had a lot of fun, loved the T-shirts and can’t wait for next year!” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. Later this month, the society will collaborate with the Muslim Student Association to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.
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