By: Emily Lingenfelter ~Staff Writer~
Xavier students, both on campus and abroad, participated in the traditional festivities associated with the Hindu celebration of Holi earlier this month.
Students had the opportunity to celebrate Holi with the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement and the Multicultural, Gender & Women’s Center on campus on March 13.
Holi honors the defeat of good over evil and is famous for its water fights, in which individuals throw water and colored dye at each other.
Students partook in the water fight custom on the Xavier Yard, covering each other in blue, green, yellow, red and orange dyes.
The event also featured an Indian-inspired dance by Xavier’s Dance Team, music from the Acabellas and a face-painting station set up by the Art Society.
Holi celebrates love and expressions of appreciation. The elevated excitement and vibrant colored dyes help break social boundaries and draw communities closer together.
Dr. Rashmi Assudani, a business professor, and Rabbi Abie Ingber, director of Interfaith Community Engagement, gave speeches detailing the festival and its relevance to students.
“Life at the college age is so rich, so full of new opportunities. What you learn can be unlearned, but experiences carry through a lifetime,” Ingber said.
Some students were able to receive an even more authentic experience, as Assudani and Dr. Kathleen Hidy, another business professor at Xavier, were teaching a study abroad program in India. A spring break trip to India landed in the country within the same week as Holi, and students on the trip celebrated the holiday in its native land.
On March 6, the Xavier group traveled to the home of Assudani’s family for a private celebration. Upon arrival, they were greeted with drumming music and garlands of orange, aromatic flowers.
As part of the celebration, the new arrivals were drenched with water guns and water balloons and covered with colorful powders until everyone was tie-dyed and unrecognizable. The afternoon continued with delectable tastes of Indian cuisine and dance.
“Even though we were outsiders who had never experienced Holi, everyone was so welcoming, and I felt like part of the community,” senior Carly Kennedy said.
The festival occurs each year when the lunar calendar aligns with a full moon, which occurred this year on March 6.