Colorado State University-Pueblo International Students Association and Center for International Programs hosted the Holi Festival of Colors March 13. The event, which was held between the Occhiato University Center and Massari Arena, consisted of music by Rev89, kite flying and colored powder.
Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival, celebrated primarily in India, Nepal and other regions with significant population of Hindu or Indian origin. It has also become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, even spreading to Europe and North America.
“This festival consists of people playing, chasing and coloring each other with dry powder and colored water,” said Colorado International Student Association President Jose Lopez.
CISA aimed to bring this important celebration to the CSU-Pueblo campus and inform students about this culture in an entertaining way, Lopez said.
“Our mission was to bring together everyone from the campus community for a colorful and fun event,” he said.
Harshita Ojha, a graduate student at CSU-Pueblo, said the Holi Festival is considered to be the second biggest festival, apart from Diwali. During that event, Indians light clay lamps outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness.
“In India, it is like a two day celebration compared to the United States. It’s basically considered a holiday in India where we get two to three days off,” Ojha said.
Ojha is from Rajasthan, India and is an international program student at CSU-Pueblo. She is currently obtaining her second master’s degree in business administration. Her first is in finance.
“The colors are considered to be the basis of life. For example, red signifies prosperity and happiness and green signifies energy and freshness, and so on,” Ojha said.
Nishesh Singh, a senior biochemistry major at CSU-Pueblo said the festival also has a seasonal meaning.
“Back in India and Nepal, where it is mainly celebrated, it signifies the beginning of spring. There are also stories attached to the Holi Festival based on Hindu religions but there are so many,” he said.
Singh said that in his home country of Nepal, the celebration of Holi is far bigger compared to the celebration in the United States, but he is happy students were able to participate and enjoy the celebration on campus.
“It was fun being able to interact with other students,” he said.
The Center for International Programs at CSU-Pueblo offers students the opportunity for an international education within a campus community. CISA, ran by international program students, is a cultural organization that promotes diversity and global awareness through dialogue and organization of events.
They also celebrate diversity and aim to bridge the gap among people of different backgrounds at CSU-Pueblo through cultural awareness. Some of the events that they have hosted include the Lunar New Year, a karaoke party, Brazilian Carnival and Diwali.
For more information, contact the Center for International Programs at 719-549-2329 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.