Happiness in Color
If you walk across Alumni Lawn at any given time on any given day during the school year, you’ll be able to see two things. The first is me eating at Bamboo Bistro (come say hi. I’m literally there every day). The second is some kind of indication of what cool event is happening on campus that week.
During the first week of school, you’ll see endless rows of chairs set out for the first-years to sit in at the conclusion of Founder’s Walk. During the spring, you’ll see stages set out for Rites of Spring, our annual music festival, or food trucks setting up for some student org’s event, or white tents set out for some alumni party.
But right now, you’d see a thin layer of rainbow powder spread across the lawn. That’s because yesterday was Vanderbilt’s annual HOLI FESTIVAL.
If you don’t know what that is (don’t worry, I didn’t either before I got here), Holi is exactly what it looks like from the above picture. Everyone comes out to Alumni Lawn, where a bunch of tables are set up with piles of colorful powder. You show up wearing a white shirt, and then it’s basically a free-for-all of trying to put as much powder on your friends as possible. The whole event is put on by the South Asian Cultural Exchange, or Vandy SACE.
One of the coolest things about Holi is that it actually pays respect to a much larger cultural event. Traditionally, Holi is a Hindu festival, sometimes called the “festival of color” (aptly named, if you ask me). The purpose of the festival is basically to banish evil from your life, which is also pretty appropriate because if you were to scroll through my Facebook feed right now, you’d see SO MUCH HAPPINESS captured in these pictures. Seriously, the fact that people are this happy with finals looming just two weeks away is pretty mind blowing.
Anyway, the traditional Holi festival lasts two days, which I would totally be down for, but unfortunately, ours is just two hours. Fortunately, Vandy students know how to make the best of it.