A kaleidoscope of color

Students spread joy, togetherness, and color at annual Hopkins Holi celebration

Students participate in Hopkins Holi

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

While Punjabi, Hindi, Tamil, and Marathi pop music rang out across the Beach, students chased one another, dowsing each other in bursts of green, pink, orange, and blue. It's with these friendly blasts of color that the JHU Hindu Students Council welcomed spring to the Homewood campus at their annual Hopkins Holi celebration.

Holi, an ancient Hindu religious celebration, is one of the most joyous and celebrated events of Indian culture. The holiday reflects upon stories of good triumphing over evil and provides a bright and energetic welcome to spring.

During the celebration, participants wear white and toss colored pigment into the air and at each other. In India, as well as on the Homewood campus, Holi is seen as a unifying festival, celebrated by non-Hindus as well, bringing everyone together in a kaleidoscopic swirl.

As the colors and shouts of joy wafted through the air, curious passersby wandered over to discover the celebration. Even those who were hesitant to participate soon found themselves in the heart of the activity, covered from head to toe in colored pigment.

"Obviously throwing color at everyone is fun, but more than that, it's exciting seeing everyone get a taste of the culture we experience back in India," said Debanik Purkayastha, a junior biomedical engineering major who is part of the Hindu Students Council. "It's really cool to bring that to a U.S. campus."