The Cascade Campus student leadership as well as other campuses throughout the week have been getting a taste of the Hindu religious festival — Holi. It is known as the “festival of colors” and is a spring festival celebrated all across India and Nepal and among Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. On Monday, March 5, Cascade students enjoyed Indian food, watched Bollywood dancing and then donned white shirts that soon were stained by raining color — all in the spirit of furthering their cultural understanding.
Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.
People visit family, friends and foes to throw colored powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks.
It is a national holiday in India and Nepal with regional holidays in other countries.
Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colors such as turmeric, neem, dhak, and kumkum were used, but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used.
The playful throwing of natural colored powders has a medicinal significance: using medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors in the dyes.
After a day of play with colors, people clean and dress up in the evening, and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchanging sweets.
James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »