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Georgia Southern celebrates second annual Holi Festival

Holi Fest 2016-students throwing colors in the air

Georgia Southern will once again celebrate the spring season at the second annual Holi Festival on March 24, 6-8 p.m. in front of the University Store and Dining Commons.

Holi, which means “festival of colors,” is a free event for students, faculty, staff and the community. This traditional holiday with ancient origins is observed by Hindus and Sikhs in India as a way to celebrate the triumph of good over bad. During the festival, participants smear a wide range of colors over each other as a mark of love and belonging, and welcome the spring season.

After a successful celebration last year, Subrajit Saha, Ph.D., assistant professor of agroecology in the Department of Biology and one of the event organizers, said people were eager to do it again.

“For a few minutes or so, the whole area was mystified with colors,” he said. “Then along with playing with colors, many participants started dancing on their own with the Indian music. I received very positive feedback from both students and the community, with a common consensus that we need to do it every year.”

The event is hosted by the Multicultural Student Center, the Office of International Programs and Services and the South Asian Student Organization, who will volunteer and perform in both live music and dance. In addition to the live dance and music, the event will also feature free t-shirts and sunglasses to the first 100 students. Be sure to bring your Eagle ID. Attendance verification will be provided.

Participants are advised to wear white t-shirts or clothing that they don’t mind getting smeared with colored powder. The powders are non-toxic and will go away after washing. However, try to avoid getting the colors into eyes, ears, nose or mouth.

Dorsey Baldwin, director of the Multicultural Student Center, says she hopes the event will raise awareness and appreciation of diversity across the campus.

“We want to foster a climate within the campus community which recognizes the value that multicultural diversity brings to the total educational experience,” she said. “The Holi Festival does exactly that.”

Saha said he hopes students especially will gain knowledge and experience with international culture as a result of the event.

“This cross-cultural experience develops openness and understanding toward other cultures,” he said. “The festival of colors also brings a feeling of harmony, equality and friendship among students.”

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