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Festival of Colors on Riggs Lawn

Heather Norris

Every year, C.W. Post hosts a weeklong celebration in honor of its most diverse students.  This week is called International Week, which features a number of different cultural celebrations every day.  All students are invited to attend and experience a culture different from their own.  Of all of the events that took place during last week’s international festivities, perhaps the most unique was the Holi Festival, nicknamed the “Festival of Colors.”

Hosted on Riggs Lawn by the Indo American Club and the International Students Union on Tuesday, April 5th, the Holi Festival drew the attention of nearly every passerby.  The traditional Indian celebration takes place every year on the first day following the full moon in March, the month of Phalguna in Hinduism.  An upbeat, party-like event, it honors historic events in Hindu tradition and celebrates the coming of the spring season and the end to the gloom of winter.

While the majority of those walking by on their way to class may not have known the background about what was taking place on the lawn, the way in which the holiday is celebrated was no subtle matter.  Gathered around the picnic table, participating students listened and danced to Indian music while spraying friends, acquaintances, and even the occasional onlooker with brightly colored powders and water.  Students covered in paint encouraged peers to join in the celebration and, by the afternoon, the event looked more like one big party than a religious festival.

President Tarun Vasudeo and Vice President Meenal Darak head the IndoAmerican Club.  The Thursday before the celebration, March 31st, the IAC and the ISU raised money for the event by selling henna tattoos to help raise money to purchase the powders and to earn money to send to the Japan relief efforts.  “C.W. Post has a diverse population of students from various countries and such event like ‘International Week’ is the best opportunity for students to know about the different cultures,” said Vasudeo.  The IAC encourages students of all religious and ethnic backgrounds to participate in the club and learn about their culture.  After seeing the fun had at the Holi Festival, who wouldn’t want to join?

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