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Morning Sun
  • Holi celebration welcomes spring

  • Color, music and laughter filled the air Saturday afternoon at Gorilla Village as students from India led the community in welcoming spring.



    Holi, the festival of colors, is a time when all in India put aside their differences and welcome spring with a spectacular show of colors.

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  • Color, music and laughter filled the air Saturday afternoon at Gorilla Village as students from India led the community in welcoming spring.

    Holi, the festival of colors, is a time when all in India put aside their differences and welcome spring with a spectacular show of colors.

    “Holi is basically when we welcome spring,” said Zarna Marfatia, who is studying biology at Pittsburg State University. “We welcome spring with different colors.”

    Feni Amin, also a biology major, said the festival features lots of color, water, music and snacks.

    “In India, it would be the same, but more color,” Amin said.

    She said pink, known as gulaal, is the first color powder thrown, then other colors begin to fly.

    Amin said the powders the students ordered for this festival will wash off, but in India the colors will stain.

    “The colors they use in India are going to stay,” she said, adding that everybody wears white and the clothing becomes a memento of Holi.

    Faculty advisor Ananda Jay said India is a multi-cultural country, and Holi is a day when everyone forgets their differences.

    “This is one day we always celebrate,” he said, adding that students ordered $700 worth of color powders to share with the Pittsburg State University community.

    “It’s including everybody into your culture and showing them a bit of India,” Marfatia said.

    Within moments of the first round of color powder flying into the air, students danced and laughed as the colors settled on their faces, hair and clothes.

    Graciela Saldivar, who is from Paraguay and studying at Pitt State, enjoyed the experience.

    “So much fun,” she said. “This is my first time here. I think it’s very cool.”

    Lizzie Dey, a junior at Southeast High School, visited for the event and said she had never experienced anything quite like it.

    Page 2 of 2 - “I love it,” she said. “This is so much fun. I have had such a blast.”

    She said she definitely would plan to return for future festivals.

    Business major Mallory Linville said she had seen the event mentioned on the Pittsburg State University web site and decided to come enjoy.

    “I’ve never done this before,” she said, adding that she was having fun, but was surprised at how muddy the event became between the rain and the water being shot and flung throughout.

    Hruturaj Vartak, a recent PSU graduate, said the festival lasts all day in India.

    “We play with colors,” he said. “It’s basically fun, and really no one minds it.”

    When the color runs out, everybody gets together and eats, and he said the party generally will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    At Gorilla Village, the celebration ran from 12 to 3 p.m., and the colors were released every 20 minutes to help make them last.

    Water also played a role, as students squirted water from the lake out of tubes to turn the powder into paint, then hauled their classmates to University Lake to dunk them. 

    Then, the colors flew again.
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