During the Indian holiday Holi, students had a chance to introduce their friends to Indian cultures and expose them to new ideas.
Known as the festival of colors, Holi is recognized worldwide, and on campus Ball State community members celebrated by smearing a multitude of colors on each other.
“In smaller cities in the Midwest, you do not get a sense of global cultures and what they mean or stand for,” said Yogen Solanki, the president of the Indian Student Association (ISA). “This is an opportunity for Indian Students to express their culture freely to a culture that knows little about it and hasn’t had this type of exposure.”
Traditionally, Solanki said, Holi is a two-day celebration where a bonfire is lit the first night to symbolize the death of Holika, a demoness who killed her brother’s son because he was not worshipping his father as a king.
To Solanki, the festival is about love and acceptance.
“It’s not just about the colors,” Solanki said. “But more so about the way the celebrating brings people together. It’s all about forgetting the past and growing with the people that surround you.”
One attendee, junior architecture major Patrick Ward, said he celebrated by playing frisbee and tossing colored powder on people.
“It’s really fun to be here and throw some color around,” Ward said. “I think anyone would have a good time coming here.”
In the future, Solanki said he wants the Holi celebration at Ball State to represent what Indian festivals truly are and to become a large-scale, annual event on campus that spreads awareness about Indian culture.
“We truly hope people realize that there’s a whole world out there, and culture is another avenue to connect with different people of diverse backgrounds,” Solanki said. “The more [culture] is embraced, the more vibrant and beautiful it becomes for each individual.”
Contact Jacob Musselman with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.