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WSU Indian Students’ Association Celebrates Ancient Hindu Festival

PULLMAN – On March 31st, around 100 people gathered at Reaney Park in Pullman, Washington to celebrate a Hindu tradition. Holi is a popular ancient Hindu festival originating from India known as the festival of colors or the festival of love.

The Indian Students’ Association at Washington State University celebrated the end of winter and the beginning of a good spring harvest season according to Vishnutej Ellur, the Indian Students’ Association’s communication chair. The tradition goes back to the love between two Hindu deities and the killing of an evil monster.

“The festival signifies the love between Krishna and Radha, and we are here on a really good day to start off the spring,” Ellur said.

People filled up water balloons, sorted out gulal (the colored powder), and loaded up squirt guns in preparation to re-color each other’s clothing in celebration. The tradition of throwing gulal comes from the love of Krishna and Radha as the four main colors of gulal represent different things. Red reflects love and fertility, blue is the color of Krishna, yellow is the color of turmeric and green symbolizes spring and new beginnings.

Ruchira Tandel, president of the Indian Student Association, said she was very happy to see everyone dancing to traditional Indian music after getting wet and being covered in gulal.

“This is the same way that like we do this in Asia, well not the exact same way, but yeah we do stuff like this in Asia too and I’m just very happy that it looks like everything is going very well,” Tandel said.

Every year the Holi festival takes place around the world, and in Reaney Park people celebrated as if they weren’t thousands of miles away from the origin of the Hindu tradition.

More information about the Indian Students’ Association can be found at https://www.facebook.com/wsuisapullman/ 

Editor’s Note: Videographer for this story was Alex Dolewski 

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