UMD Indian College students Affiliation organizes Holi celebrations at McKeldin Mall

by Rachel McCurry
for diamondback

College students of the College of Maryland celebrated Holi at McKeldin Mall on Sunday at an occasion organized by the Indian College students Affiliation and Smiles from Miles Away. Individuals threw coloured pigments to cowl one another from head to toe in inexperienced, blue, yellow, pink and crimson, as music was performed to have fun the standard pageant of colors.

Hindu priest Rev Kiran Sankhala stated that Holi celebrates the arrival of spring and the victory of fine over evil. The pageant has its roots within the Hindu spiritual textual content Bhagavad Gita.

,[Holi is] A cheerful, joyful pageant,” Sankhla stated. “Anybody can take part.”

(Tanin Momeni/The Diamondbacks)

The fundraising occasion was organized by college scholar organizations Smiles from Miles Away and Indian College students Affiliation. Individuals can buy colours and a white T-shirt, proceeds from which go to SFMA’s fundraising efforts.

SFMA has partnered with Little India Basis in New Delhi to boost funds for underprivileged households within the space. The group plans to donate all the cash raised on Sunday to the inspiration.

“Since final semester, we’ve got been internet hosting cultural occasions to boost funds for entry to well being care and schooling,” stated Shivika Gaind, co-chair of SFMA.

(Tanin Momeni/The Diamondbacks)

SFMA together with ISA deliberate the celebrations.

Gaind and Aliyah Patel, one other co-chair of the SFMA and a junior biology and psychology main, hope to boost each funding and membership within the pageant.

“Bringing completely different organizations collectively in Maryland brings extra individuals collectively … I feel it is much more enjoyable collaborations,” stated ISA treasurer Shiv Rathod, a junior laptop science main.

Kritik Mirg throws coloured powder at his pals. (Tanin Momeni/The Diamondbacks)

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Although the college has hosted Holi celebrations prior to now, COVID-19 prevented the pageant from happening final yr.

“One of many causes we needed to do it this semester was as a result of nobody did it final yr,” Patel stated.

Rathod additionally added, “We’re delighted to have the chance to be again and go to the campus and arrange such occasions.”

Many attendees have been celebrating Holi of their respective communities from a younger age. Nonetheless, most of those individuals are attending a perform on the college campus for the primary time.

The coloured powder covers the bottom. (Tanin Momeni/The Diamondbacks)

“In India, it was an enormous pageant with household and pals,” stated Yash Agarwal, a brand new structure main who grew up in India. His favourite a part of Holi is “the group…simply the individuals round” [you]and make pals. ,

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Each Patel and Gaind really feel a private connection to Holi. Gaind describes the household coming to India for Holi as “the principle reminiscence”. She celebrated the pageant along with her cousins, one in every of whom handed away lately.

“It is extra of a household significance to me,” Gaind stated.

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