By Manasi Sathe, Global Ambassador of Penn State Harrisburg
As a senior who is about to graduate in a few months, when I take a walk through the memory lane of college, and notice that some of my most memorable experiences were attending global ambassador events. Whether it was volunteering during Latino Gala, hosting the Diwali event, participating in the Lunar New Year fashion show, or dancing for Holi, the amalgamation of various events has given me and all the students a chance to gain more knowledge about cultural diversity in the world. The Global Ambassadors program has expanded the horizons of many people, by allowing them to think in a cosmopolitan view through learning new languages and customs from around the world. Attending each event has made students more appreciative of the cultural diversity around them, while preserving their own cultural roots.
This year, I have the privilege of being part of the planning team for the 2018 Holi event. Holi, also known as Festival of colors, will be held on March 2nd, 6-9pm 2018 in the Student Center of CUB. It is a Hindu festival observed in Nepal and India at the end of winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month Phalunga. Holi is split into two parts, Holika Dahan and Rangwali Holi. The first stage is celebrated the night before the main day by observing a purification ritual in which logs and dung cakes are burned, representing victory of good versus evil.
Rangwali Holi is the main event, where everyone dances and throws a handful of gulal (color powder or water spray) on each other to signify the harmonization of people of all ethnicities with no barrier of language or religion. Interestingly, the concept of colors originates from the legend of Radha and Krishna. The supreme deity fell in love with the goddess Radha, but she was concerned with their differences in color, his being blue. As a solution, his mom advised him to playfully paint her face to overcome their differences. Today, lovers continue this tradition to make sure their own faces match gulal.
This year, the Holi celebration will include cultural performances consisting of dances, songs, authentic Indian cuisine, and a chance to play with colorful powder in the courtyard. Attendees will be able to get the whole Holi experience and feel like they are celebrating in India. If you are an Indian international student that misses home and wants to relive your memories of Holi celebrations from India, or if you are a non-Indian student that want to learn more about the Indian Culture and history behind Holi, we welcome YOU to join us! Luckily, It is one day before spring break so all of us can rejuvenate before break and enjoy this festival together! Looking forward to seeing new faces at the event! For more events like this, visit our events calendar.
Note: All pictures featured are Penn State Holi celebration photos (courtesy of Penn State Harrisburg Global Ambassadors Program)