The California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) community celebrated Holi over tasty food in the Dining Commons on March 8. The lunch menu featured traditional Indian foods which brought out a diverse crowd.
In honor of the special holiday, the Dining Commons served traditional dishes such as butter chicken, samosa chaat, mango lassi, and tal datka. Students boasted that the food was delicious and reminded them of home.
“I think it’s nice that we have this event, but I wish we actually played Holi with all the colors and stuff, because it’s a huge festival. Other than that, it’s really nice and the food is good,” said fourth-year Nrupaja Vartak.
Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is one of the most popular festivals in India and is held on March 8 of every year. The holiday symbolizes the beginning of spring and the blossoming of love.
The Festival of Colors is meant to bring people together and enjoy being playful and as happy as possible. During the festival, crowds play in the streets with water balloons and smear one another with bright colors. There are also usually people with drums and other instruments that go through the streets singing and dancing.
“We go off in the morning and everyone plays with each other and all the colors. There’s a ceremonial side of it and a playful side – the ceremony is generally the night before and then the color festival is in the morning,” explained fourth-year Rajarshi Chatterjw.
The ceremony held on March 7 consists of communities coming together and burning dead tree branches in a huge bonfire while praying to overcome their internal struggles. The ceremony and celebration give people an opportunity to come together, have fun, repair relationships and hope for a bountiful spring harvest.
The Dining Commons partnered with International Student and Scholar Services to host last week’s event. According to its website, CSUMB International Programs aims to “build a multicultural learning community founded on academic excellence.”
CSUMB’s celebration of diverse holidays and celebrations continue to be appreciated by students who yearn to have a little piece of home with them while they pursue their careers.