Lauren Hannani cub writer
Nirav Desai cub writer
Tossing colors into the air while Indian songs blare in the background, people gather together to dance and sing for Holi, the Hindu festival of colors. The celebration made its way to Southern California on Sunday, March 15. The event, titled Holi Hungama 2015, created a local environment to celebrate the colorful holiday annually held in India and other parts of the world.
According to Holi Hangama, Holi occurs as the winter disappears and the spring blossoms in India. The traditional celebration of this festival reflects the happiness of life and the start of the agricultural season. Attendees sing and dance to the beat of drums as part of the Indian tradition of “dholak.”
(Narration of video by: Lauren Hannani)
The festival, held at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, featured a contingent of Normans who took the 45-minute drive in order to enjoy the local sights and sounds of Holi.
Deborah Newman, a junior who participated in a Holi celebration for the first time, stated that, “the fact that I was with my friends, learned Indian dances and met Indian people [made the event more enjoyable].”
Chalk powder mixed with water, water colors, and water filled balloons are thrown to people in the streets while they shout greetings. Newman expected a different kind of experience with these colors when she decided to attend the event.
“I knew that the color would not wash off my clothes, but I never expected the color to be so hard to get off my body,” she said.
Although the “gulal”, the Hindi term for the colors, may have been difficult to scrub off, the event continued to be very entertaining for the students. Not only did the Indian aspect of Holi make the event more amusing for them, but the festival also gave students a chance to acquire new memories.
“Just being with my best friends was fun. Also, seeing everyone throw all the colors in the air at the same time was really cool,” junior Anna Magnin said.
Another Beverly student who attended, junior Sandra Arroyo, agreed, saying, “The best part of the festival was sharing that fun experience with my closest friends.”
Students were exposed to Indian culture and the history of Holi as well.
“I learned that Holi is an Indian holiday that usually happens around March but the date is different every year since it falls on the religious calendar. We learned all about Indian music [too],” Magnin said.
Overall, this event provided a new kind of experience for students who decided to explore the customs of the Indian community.
To see the full map with locations and information on the festival, click here.