Love comes in different forms. This time, it was the colors that brought joy and delight to everyone’s faces.
The festival of Holi is celebrated in the month of Phalguna by Hindus all over the world, especially in Southeast Asia.
The International Students Association organized the Holi and Henna Festival as a part of the International Week festivities.
The event took each Nepali student on an emotional ride. It took them from missing their families back home to enjoying the colors with their friends here at ULM. The students laughed out in joy with every sprinkle of color and water showered at the event.
Ashamsa Adhikari, a freshman computer science major, said it was her first time celebrating a local Nepali festival far from home. She did not expect ULM to organize such a traditional event.
“I am thankful to the association for creating an environment that connects me to the festivities back in my country—Nepal,” Adhikari said. “It made me feel like I was with my family far from home.”
The event was not only about colors but also fun games and beautiful Henna.
The organizers distributed up to 50 white shirts to those who attended the event.
Everyone enjoyed playing the pot breaking game while blindfolded—often referred to as Handi Futai—and prizes were given to the winners.
Nishma Gautam, a junior political science major, said this was her first time attending the Holi and Henna Festival. Although it is an annual event, she has been unable to attend due to her busy schedule with classes and work.
“I miss home. The Holi Festival used to be lot more fun back in Nepal with more colors, more water, family and friends, but we find home wherever we go and enjoy the little things in life,” Gautam said. “Most importantly, home is where your heart is and with everything going on, the people here are my family.”
Gautam and her friend Anisha Karki reproduced beautiful Henna designs on the hands of some of the attendees. They waited in a line to put on the Henna-Herbal Mehndi.
Gina White, the SEVIS advisor of the International Student Services, said the international student population is treasured at ULM, and it links our college on the bayou with the rest of the world.
“Because people are so far from home, we try to make every effort to celebrate their cultures and make them feel included,” White said. “The events are also important because they help expose the domestic students so they can learn about different cultures and people.”