Students representing their culture on campus

February 28, 2023

Everyone welcome at SIU’s Holi festival March 8

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Holi, a traditional Hindu spring festival celebrated in India, is coming to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Everyone is welcome to attend the festivities featuring guest speakers and more, starting at 2 p.m. March 8 at Morris Library.

“SIU is not only diverse in terms of race and ethnicity but also religion,” said Renada Greer, executive director of the Student Multicultural Resource Center and Trio Programs. “The celebration of Holi provides an opportunity for people to experience other cultures in a fun way and support the Indian Student Association, one of the co-sponsors of this event.” 

Greer noted that while the festival is primarily celebrated by Hindus, it is a very inclusive event and one of its main themes is unity.

Several things happening

SIU’s Holi festival begins in the John C. Guyon auditorium with an educational session led by the Indian Student Association. Speakers will explain the cultural significance of Holi and why it is celebrated.

Afterward, participants will move to the library lawn where they pick up packets of brightly colored powders, which everyone will throw in the air when the cue is given. Organizers say the memorable co-mingling of the colors falling upon the crowd as moved by the wind is symbolic of love, unity, inclusion and happiness.

The event concludes with refreshments.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to wear clothing that they don’t mind having brightly colored powder fall upon and keep that in mind when deciding what things to bring with them.

Sponsors include the Student Multicultural Resource Center, the College of Business and Analytics Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Vice Chancellor for Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.