The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday January 17th

Holi Moli takes its colors to Hooker Fields

Students gathered in the quad Friday to celebrate Holi, the Hindu celebration of spring.Students gathered in the quad Friday to celebrate Holi Moli, the Hindu celebration of spring.
Buy Photos Students gathered in the quad Friday to celebrate Holi, the Hindu celebration of spring.Students gathered in the quad Friday to celebrate Holi Moli, the Hindu celebration of spring.

Holi Moli UNC, an event that promotes multiculturalism and diversity by celebrating the arrival of spring through the Hindu holiday of Holi, will be held today at 5 p.m. on Hooker Fields for the first time in its five-year history at UNC.

All proceeds from the event go to the Mahatma Gandhi Fellowship and YFund of the Campus Y.

Event Co-President Sarah Barger said the reason for the move had to do with restrictions on student group usage of Polk Place.

Barger, a senior, said the Holi Moli UNC executive board reached out to Campus Recreation, the Student Union and other campus organizations to use Hooker Fields for Holi.

“The event has grown so much in the past five years so I think there’s a lot of opportunity there,” she said.

Other groups involved with planning Holi at UNC include Sangam, Hindu YUVA, the Campus Y and Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Outreach, a branch of student government.

Barger said she joined the Holi executive board her sophomore year as part of student government’s diversity committee.

“We have 12 executive board members and they are all drawn from these four organizations,” she said.

Junior Savita Sivakumar is on the Holi executive board as a representative from Sangam. She said she has been involved with Holi since her freshman year.

“I think the biggest thing for this year’s celebration is our move to Hooker Fields, which will hold our growing population even better,” Sivakumar said.

“We’re also making the switch to eco-friendly tarps, which I think is really interesting.”

Despite recent changes, Holi executives said they think the event will continue to grow and remain a UNC staple.

Barger said she hopes that students can gain a cultural perspective by seeing how social barriers can be broken down in such a unique way.

“It’s number 13 on the UNC bucket list for a reason,” she said.

Sophomore Sarah Fenaughty, a classics and political science double-major, went to Holi last year and plans on participating again today.

She said she thinks Holi is an easy way for people who aren’t necessarily exposed to Hindu culture to get a little taste of it.

“It brings different backgrounds together in celebration of something we can all relate to,” Fenaughty said. “The new life and sunshine, and essentially the happiness that comes with winter being over, means spring has officially started.”

Sivakumar said her favorite part of Holi happens 30 seconds before the event starts.

“I love when everyone is still in white, and then this powder cloud comes overhead,” she said. “And all of a sudden, it’s Holi.”

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