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Desi Culture Club president Aravinda "Ara" Murali, wearing all white, throws red and blue colored powder for the Holi celebration on the UAFS Campus Green.

Desi Culture Club president Aravinda "Ara" Murali throws red and blue colored powder during Holi celebration

Events | Featured | News | StudentsMarch 29, 2024

Holi Returns to UAFS Campus

Written By: Ian Silvester

Not to be deterred by rain and cold temperatures, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Desi Culture Club, a registered student organization (RSO), brought back the most significant event it organizes.

Holi, also known as the Hindu Festival of Colors, was celebrated by millions worldwide on March 25. At UAFS, the joyful event was celebrated on March 27 for the second year in a row.

“I love having everybody together, all the powder, and seeing all the smiles,” said Checotah Benton, Desi Culture Club vice president. “The joy that you get for the time we’re running around and throwing powder and everybody’s happy, that’s my favorite part.”

After last year’s Holi success, Desi Culture Club president, Aravinda “Ara” Murali, was eager to celebrate the holiday with friends and the UAFS campus again. This year, he planned an additional aspect of Indian culture: cricket.

“It’s the national sport of India,” Ara explained. “I felt like we should have something different than last year, and I felt like games and activities would be fun. Holi itself already has a cultural significance; having the sport of India adds more to cultural significance.”

Ara described the holiday as a way to celebrate India’s independence. The colorful powder represents a coming together, “the unity and strength of the people.” Those participating wore white clothes but were left with a mixture of pink, green, blue, and yellow as the powder was thrown in the air and on participants.

“I’m most excited about the colors,” said Kimberly Morales with a laugh. As a freshman and co-secretary, dancer, and videographer for the Desi Culture Club, it was her first time participating in the event. “I’ve been excited about the event the entire year,” she said.

The various colors also represent a sharing of love, new beginnings, natural remedies, and the Hindu god, Krishna.

Although the Desi Culture Club is one of the newest cultural organizations on the UAFS campus, events like Holi and Diwali have drawn interest from other RSOs, students, faculty, and staff.

“They get to explore something completely new, something very different … and it’s an opportunity to explore and have new memories,” Kimberly said.

  • Tags:
  • Holi
  • Desi Culture Club
  • RSOs

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