Holi showers students with a colorful custom


Linh Tran

Campus bursts with Holi colors on March 21, 2023.

Lexi Woodcock

On Tuesday, March 21, vibrant colors covered the lower quad. Hosted by the Global Engagement Team (GET), Holi is the Hindu festival of colors. Open to all members of campus, students were given an opportunity to introduce themselves to Hindu culture through colors. 

Although globally celebrated March 8, due to weather and turnout concerns, Holi was not celebrated on campus until March 21. 

Holi celebrates the arrival of spring. The Hindu celebration represents spring, love and friendships, and it’s a day of fun for all participants. 

Music and color filled the air as international and domestic students covered themselves and their peers in colored powders. Food was catered from a local Indian restaurant, and students were free to help themselves to the cultural cuisines. 

The GET encourages students to attend its events, regardless of one’s cultural or religious background. Junior Americus Mahatshahi is the Vice President of GET. 

“It’s not the same as reading it on Google,” Mahatshahi said. “When you experience and celebrate with someone, you are actually becoming a part of that culture, and you fully immerse yourself within that culture for a little while.”

GET is responsible for many different cultural events on campus throughout the year, and it is not an easy job. With Holi, because of all of its colors, the team must be careful in planning and cleaning up the event, so none of the pigments stain parts of campus. 

Noor UI Ain, senior, is president of GET. She and the rest of the team set up cones, tables and chairs and filled water balloons so that Holi could be celebrated in the Viking Plaza. “The goal for hosting Holi ties back to our goal as an organization, which is to be welcoming, to be inclusive and to be able to portray different cultures and religions on campus,” Ain said. 

With the weather cooperating, students were able to play freely with the water and colors and frolic around the quad. Smearing colors on each other’s faces and clothes, students were soon covered in a variety of colors from head to toe. 

Grisma Niraula, junior, celebrates Holi every year, whether at home or Augustana. 

“Everyone enjoys Holi, not just international students,” Niraula said. “I can tell the domestic students are enjoying it too.” 

GET creates events to attract all types of students to events, including domestic. GET works hard to foster a safe and welcoming environment for all members of campus. 

“I want them to feel like we are doing this, not just for the international community, but for the entire Augustana community,” Ain said.