MCC honors Holi festival at University Plaza

By Elaine DeLeon

Cal Poly Pomona received a dash of color on Friday when the Multicultural Council hosted its 6th annual Night of Colors event.

Participants received colored powder and through it around University Plaza. According to MCC President Fabian Velez, the event was created to raise cultural awareness and serve as stress relief for students.

The event is based on the Hindu spring celebration of Holi, which commemorates the victory of good over evil. It also marks the end of winter as people welcome in the new spring season.

“The meaning here for us is to celebrate the amount of diversity that come together for one event and celebrate unity in the campus,” said Velez.

Velez and MCC members decided to take a different approach when it came to hosting this year’s event by actually informing people about the event’s origin.

This is the first year that the council has brought attention to the event’s Indian roots.

“We hope that people will learn that this is what [the event] means instead of what people do in America for profit. [The event] actually has meaning in certain cultures, so our biggest goal for tonight is that we hope to educate,” said Velez.

Clubs and organizations contributed to the event. Associated Students, Inc. members also assisted during the event. Gerardo Murillo, MCC director, led event planning.

“We want to make sure that we are acknowledging and representing all the diversity within the council,” said Murillo.

Instead of students wearing their worn out jeans and T-shirts, the council provided free shirts for students to make sure that everyone could join the celebration.

In her opening speech, MCC Vice President Shatha Altawarah explained the purpose of the event and the cultural holiday that it is based on.

“It is a fun event that incorporates how Holi help break the barriers of social status as well as culture. That’s what the main event of that holiday is, and we try to incorporate that in this event as well,” said Altawarah.

Students also engaged in team-building exercises that, according to Velez, were meant to help people connect.

After dinner and team building, students proceeded to the main event and participated in the Holi tradition of throwing colored powder at one another.

According to Velez, the different colors of powder represented the different cultures and experiences each person has, and at the end of the night, they are all united under one color.

Students along, with the volunteers, were excited to experience the event and were eager to take part in it.

“It’s great to see how [the event] has evolved since this event is to show the colors that people represent. ” Like [MCC] said, we are all pretty much the same color, so it’s cool to see that at the end of the day we are all the same people,” said Diana Ascencio, ASI vice president and former member of MCC.

According to Murillo, the council always hosts events where students can socialize and discuss various cultural issues.

“We have different goals for different events. ” In this event it is more of a celebration and a social gathering that is supposed to be uplifting to students, where they can relax and de-stress,” said Murillo.

Holi festival

Elaine Deleon / The Poly Post

Holi festival

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