By Molly Burke
The Nepalese Student Association held a Holi celebration from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 7 at the Cafaro House lawns.
Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the eternal love of the goddess Radha and the god Krishna. It also signifies the triumph of good over evil as it commemorates the victory of Vishnu’s form as Narasimha Narayana over Hiranyakashipu.
NSA president, Sashank Pandey, said Holi was in March, but the celebration took place in April because of the cold weather.
“The actual date of Holi that is celebrated in Nepal and India has already gone like one month ago, it was like on March. But due to the cold weather, we could not celebrate. Now that the weather is getting warmer, we are celebrating as soon as possible,” Pandey said.
Holi is celebrated in almost every part of India and Nepal, but is not a recognized national holiday in the U.S. Pandey said he is happy to celebrate Holi on campus.
“We Nepalese people, we already know about this, but we can provide [Americans information] about how our culture is and how we celebrate different festivals. We feel like we are far from home, so small events like this can make us feel like we are with our culture and we feel happy,” Pandey said.
The holiday is also known as the Festival of Colors and is celebrated by smearing powdered colors onto a person’s skin and clothes. Students at the celebration danced to music while throwing bright pink, yellow, purple, blue and green colors into the air and onto one another.
Manev Desai, a freshman biology pre-medicine major, said each color is symbolic.
“Each color is supposed to represent a different aspect of life. Red represents love, yellow represents [a] bright, cheerful, jolly spirit. Green represents the lush greenery, [and] pink represents the fresh beauty,” Desai said.
Desai said he was excited to celebrate with the colors.
“[I’m most excited for] the color run. It signifies that coloring your life with the new spirit of spring, the fresh awakening of the new energies that come with the spring,” Desai said.
Aniket Singh, a graduate student studying computer science, said he enjoyed the Holi celebration.
“It’s the festival of colors and that’s what we like. Everyone is just having fun, not worrying about anything, just enjoying the colors,” Singh said.
Singh said having Holi at YSU was important for those who celebrate and who are unfamiliar with the holiday.
“There are a lot of Nepalese and Indian students and I’m pretty sure some other cultures celebrate something similar, but they don’t get to celebrate this in America,” Singh said. “It’s a great opportunity to get involved in these kind of events and festivals, and even for American students they can get some experience in this so it’s good for basically everyone and it makes us diverse.”
For more information on the Nepalese Student Association, email Pandey at [email protected].