Think of a celebration where everybody is seen as equal, everyone there for the pure enjoyment of the event. All of those people outside the SUB throwing coloured powder at each other last Thursday were doing this as they celebrated Holi, an Indian cultural event that takes place on the full moon day of the Phagun month of the Hindu calendar.
This year, the event began with thrilling dance performances inside the SUB atrium before it moved outside into the welcomingly sunny day’s open air on the SUB’s south side lawn, aka “the dead marshes.”
Fortunately, the ground was mostly dry and perfectly suited to being the scene of the powdered paint tossing — a sort of free-for-all battle of colour to break down cultural and racial barriers, with everyone leaving a winner because they all look the same. The idea is that by throwing the coloured gulal powder at each other, everyone becomes multi-coloured, though uniquely patterned.
This year saw a bigger turnout than previous years, organized collaboratively by the hip hop club, UFV international, UFV India, the Arab club, Oxfam, and featuring music by CIVL Radio. Beyond the colour throwing and the dancing, there was music, food, and henna art. The colour-powder throwing exhibited such an enticing energy that even people walking by, entirely unprepared for the mess, joined in enthusiastically.
Shyna Kandra, one of the event’s organizers said, “When I see so many people from various backgrounds having tons of fun on the day of, it makes all the effort very worthwhile.” The celebration was obviously well enjoyed by everyone who was there.