Multimedia Reporting by Ginna Royalty
The Elon community came together on Friday, April 7th to celebrate Holi, a well-known Hindu festival which celebrates the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. People come together and celebrate by having a paint or colored powder fight.
Abhinav Nitesh, an intern at the Truitt Center for Religous Life & Spiritual Life, planned Elon’s 2017 Holi Festival. As reported in The Pendulum, Nitesh moved to the United States last year from India to get a better education. He picked Elon for the small class sizes and proximity to his uncle who lives in Cary, North Carolina. Nitesh found Elon to be very hospitable and wanted to help educate the Elon community about a different religion, one that is not too common at Elon.
“The is one of those festivals I really love the most back home, all of our friends would gather around and just enjoy ourselves while worshiping in our faith,” Nitesh said.
“This job opportunity at the Truitt Center provides me with a platform to make people aware about a different religion. It gave me a podium to inform people about the faith that I hold near and dear to my heart.”
“While the aesthetics of Holi may supersede its true meaning to some, it is a powerful tool to promote Hindu life at Elon,” Unversity Chaplain Jan Fuller said to The Pendulum.
“I loved learning about Holi and being able to celebrate it with fellow Elon students!” said Marta Djalleta, sophomore. “There’s always such positive energy there and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it!”
While Holi is one of the Truitt Center’s most popular events, it may be for the wrong reasons. According to The Pendulum, Carrie Seigler, the multifaith intern coordinator at the Truitt Center said that some students may attend only for the “Instagramable” aspect.
“I went to Holi because I went to India on a study abroad trip over winter term this past year and I learned about the culture and religion and I felt like I could intellectually and educationally participate this year which is why this is my first time participating,” said Meredith Piatt, junior.
Piatt thinks Elon does a great way of pairing fun events like Holi with educational aspects, such as the skit they did explaining the roots of the festival before the event started.
“Elon is trying its best. I think it’s the students that need to be involved in it now,” Nitesh said. “Elon can only do so much.”