STORRS – The Great Lawn at the University of Connecticut was covered with all colors of the rainbow on Saturday afternoon during the Indian Student Association’s annual Holi celebration.

Approximately 200 students raced around the lawn as they showered each other with powder using plastic solo cups.

Holi is a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India, Nepal and the Indian diaspora. It is also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love.”

ISA Co-President and senior Aesha Patel says that Holi’s colorful nature yields a special meaning.

“For India especially, we’re a very colorful nation,” she says. “As soon as spring kind of comes around, the colors are supposed to signify happiness, prosperity and stuff like that.”

The festival participants included not only ISA members, but others as well. Thomas Shao, a freshman, says it was a great atmosphere with great people. Shao says that being showered with colors is “painful at first,” but that it is still a “good time.”

“I think it’s really fun,” he says. “I like how all communities are a part of it. I think it’s just a fun time to be around.”

Members of the Indian Student Association wave the Indian flag while being coated in colored powder. The association brought around 800 pounds of powder for the event, says Filanthropy Chair and junior Ayushi Pathak (not pictured).
Photo: Darden Livesay

Patel says when she joined ISA it could be “scary” because of how large the organization was. Now, though, she says she loves that it feels like such a big family. Another upside of the group, she says, is that it is a “cooler” way to show people Indian culture on campus.

“I think it celebrates our diversity,” Patel says. “Especially in this climate at this point, I feel like it kind of breaks down the barriers of ‘Oh, are you Indian?’ or what it actually means to be Indian.”

ISA Co-President and senior Rohin Thomas says he hopes that UConn continues to support the school’s cultural organizations.

“Sometimes we do feel like there is a lack of support and [that] the only support we get is from our cultural centers…” Thomas says. “We want more support. The more support we get, the better.”

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University of Connecticut Class of 2019 Journalism & Political Science

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