Keene State College students were exposed to the third annual colorful celebration of Holi on Friday, April 29. The Office of Diversity and Multiculturalism teamed up with Common Ground to put on the event that represents forgiveness and new beginnings.

tim smith/photo editor

tim smith/photo editor

Holi is an Indian festival of color that represents a time of renewal, to leave past mistakes behind and to start new, according to member of the Diversity and Multiculturalism Office Sandra Garcia.

Garcia said she thinks it is important that [KSC] try to “learn as much about different cultures as we possibly can.”

Celebrated widely in India, Holi is one of the most famous celebrations in northern parts of India. At the Hindu festival, people “celebrate the victory of the good over the bad and the beginning of Spring,” according to

During the festival, participants throw colorful powder in the air to express their freedom, and to add color to their everyday life. On this day of celebration, all people are considered equal.

President of Common Ground Harpreet Kaur said in addition to India, Holi is celebrated widely in Nepal and other West-Indian cultures because some Indians migrated [to West India] through slave trade.

tim smith/photo editor

tim smith/photo editor

“Holi is a celebration that commemorates the coming of spring, celebrates forgiveness of past errors and welcomes new beginnings,” Kaur said. She said she thinks it is important to celebrate at KSC because “[The Holi celebration] is showcasing a different culture than the norm…exposing the community and campus culture is a very important thing,” Kaur said.

During the event, dancers from Boston University performed traditional dances to a mix of more modern and traditional music. The dancers also taught students a few moves so they could participate as well.

Sophomore Courtney Janvrin attended the event because she has previously studied the Holi Festival. “It has been a dream of mine for so long to attend the real Festival of Color in India one day, but until I can get there, the KSC version is a great substitute,” she stated.

The Holi  Festival website said this celebration is a day for people to come together in peace and harmony.

The “pleasant and cheerful festival” is said to leave a lasting impression on participants and those who read or hear about it.

“The event has the power to directly promote and foster equality and tolerance and bring people together,” the website reads.

tim smith/photo editor

tim smith/photo editor

Janvrin said she thinks it is important to have these different cultural events on campus because students can be aware of different celebrations about the world.

“[Students] can celebrate the traditions of other cultures and the cultures of fellow KSC students that may be different from their own,” she said.

MacKenzie Clarke can be contacted at

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