The South Asian Student Association (SASA) held their fourth annual Holi festival on April 9 at Montclair State University.
Guests from the Student Government Association (SGA), Hawksquad, Alpha Sigma Rho Sorority Rho Inc. (ASR) and Delta Sigma Iota (DSI) from Rutgers New Brunswick came to celebrate the festival in person for the first time since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Everything was a canvas that day as vibrant pinks, greens and all colors of the rainbow filled the air while people splashed and chased each other with Gulal (colored powders).
From the delicious biryani to the traditional folk music, the streets were filled with people dancing and celebrating the start of something new.
Mayra LaMantia, a graduate computer science student, and Solange Lanza Quisbert, a senior computer science major, kicked off the event, followed by accounting majors, sophomore Ansa Bijo and junior Swastika Dey, who performed a traditional dance.
To top it off, Rutgers New Brunswick’s DSI performed a routine.
The rousing energy reflected the appreciation they have for Holi, which means the arrival of spring and victory of good over evil.
Genesis Nuñez, a sophomore psychology major and the Red Hawk accreditation chair of ASR, said the energy was contagious and fun all around.
“It was one of the first cultural events I’ve attended since being a student on this campus,” Nuñez said. “Everything from the food to the music was to be enjoyed by their community and their guests. And of course, the colors were a magnificent sight to see as people laughed and screamed of joy, throwing the colorful powder at each other.”
Kaushal Patel, a junior business administration major and secretary of SASA, was pleased with the outcome of the event.
“We all feel pretty good as we were able to conduct [an] event in this unexpected weather,” Patel said. “We were looking for members who want to explore [Montclair State] who [were] not able to enjoy in COVID-19 times and I believe we have fulfilled that enjoyment as we all are getting [used] to the new environment.”
Patel further explained more of what the future holds for SASA.
“This event is just [a] new beginning for the future that is packed with new event[s] until the end of the semester and many upcoming semesters,” Patel said.