This year's Holi celebration at Urbanovsky Park featured attendees covered in a wide array of colors while a DJ played classic Hindustani music. 

The Holi celebration, also known as Festival of Colors, is a Hindu religious holiday where the first full moon of Phalguna brings individuals together to celebrate by throwing paint. There are many different meanings to the Holi celebration, including the ending of winter and beginning of spring, a triumph of good over evil in Indian mythology and a time to indulge in the company of others and celebrate. 

“Holi to me is the darkness we just came from and going into the light and something better,” President of the Indian Student Association Guandeep Parimi said. 

This year, there was a roped off area in Urbanovsky Park where colored paint could be thrown accompanied by music from DJ Poku. The celebration lasted four hours with 400 tickets purchased. There was heavy wind, but that did not stop the celebration. 

“‘This Holi?’ It’s too good, too good,” fourth year grad student Akhila Naria from Andhra, India said. “I like the water included this year, the water makes it really special to me. I’m happy that everyone celebrated here the same way like back in India.” 

Besides celebrating Holi, there was also a big push for this event to be open to students who may not be Southeast Asian or Hindu. Vice President of Delta Epsilon Psi and architecture major Ashmal Irfan explained the importance of having non-Southeast Asian students in attendance. 

“Our goal was to get as many people that are not South Asian to attend this event as possible,” Irfan said. “This may help other students understand our culture.” 

There were multiple attendees who were not from South Asia who celebrated the event, including James Dembowski, assistant professor at the Texas Tech Health Science Center.

“We work a lot with a lot of people from the Asian community,” Dembowski said. “It’s super duper important for our community to try and learn about other cultures.” 

There are over 600 students within the Indian Student Association. Irfan said Tech’s diversity and inclusion office gives fair representation to all student cultures on campus. 

“Tech does a really good job of representing everyone's culture,” Irfan said. “The diversity office actually sponsored today, and are helping us out financially.” 

This was Tech’s largest Holi celebration to date, as ticket admissions and sign up sheets filled up fast, Irfan said. 

“The Holi basically means a celebration of colors and it’s kinda bringing everyone together. It's kind of like a reference. There’s a lot of different races in this world like the colors, it's bringing everyone together. ” Irfan said. 

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