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Colorful celebration marks Hindu festival of Holi

With help from the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, dozens of Elon students filled Young Commons with color to commemorate the Hindu festival of Holi.


Elon students shower each other in powdered paint as part of the Hindu celebration of Holi.

An already vibrant Elon campus became even more colorful when powdered paint filled the air Thursday afternoon as students celebrated Holi.

The Hindu festival marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of spring. To honor the colorful nature of springtime, people participating in Holi throw colored powder at each other. In Elon's case, about 100 students stood on a tarp in Young Commons and tossed cups of powdered paint.

"It's amazing to see how everyone can come together," sophomore Yashvi Patel said. "To be able to do something this large and make it a success means a lot."

Students raced to grab cups of paint so they could participate in the Holi celebration.

Patel, who is from Spartanburg, S.C., is an interfaith engagement intern at the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and helped organize the event.

She's also Hindu, and explained the significance of dousing others with the powder. Holi is a rare moment in Indian culture, she pointed out, that bridges caste, religion, gender and age. People's differences are indistinguishable once they're covered in paint.

"I think the most important thing is that everyone is one color," Patel said. For her, Holi highlights the fact that "whether we're different on the outside, we're all the same inside."

"It's an awesome opportunity to shed light on a part of our campus [some people might not know much about]," Lauren Emery, the assistant chaplain at the Truitt Center, said. "A core part of Elon's mission is highlighting diversity and the different stories that we carry."

Students danced during the Holi celebration as traditional music filled the air.

That's what had sophomore Asher Weinstein so excited about participating in Holi. The Haddonfield, N.J., native is Jewish and also an intern at the Truitt Center.

"I wanted to take part in something that seems so small as throwing paint at someone," Weinstein said. "But it's something that truly starts to open your eyes to other stuff [that's happening] in the world. I think that's unbelievably important."

It's the second year the Truit Center has held the colorful celebration.



Philip Jones,
4/11/2013 5:10 PM