Rollins Celebrates Holi

Rollins Celebrates Holi

The Festival of Color
Saisha
Saisha
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Colors, friends and food!

Last Sunday, Rollins College’s Indian cultural student organization, ‘Desi’ hosted their annual campus Holi celebration on the lawn of the campus’ Olin Library. The colorful Hindu festival is celebrated throughout the world by people throwing brightly colored power at one another and spraying each other with colored water to celebrate the rejuvenation of nature with the arrival of spring, the victory of good over evil and peaceful coexistence. Clouds of colored powder enveloping an energetic painted crowd of Tars, including staff, students and their families, created a vibrant display, attracting intrigued students venturing to the library.

Rollins College students play Holi

Holi, also known as Phagwa, is a Hindu festival celebrated mainly in India and Nepal, as well as throughout the world, brought by members of the Indian diaspora. It is observed on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar, usually between late February and late March to mark the beginning of spring. Holi celebrations were held throughout the world on March 13th this year.

The throwing of colored power (abeer) and water represents the advent of color accompanied by a prosperous spring season. Many stories from Hindu texts explain a far deeper significance of the occasion. One story, tells of a king who commands his subjects to worship him, but becomes enraged when his son refuses, instead devoting himself to the worship of the Hindu God, Lord Naarayana. The king enlists his sister Holika to help kill his son by burning him in a fire, but the lord saves him and Holika is burned instead. Many observe Holika Dahan, the day before the colorful festivities, by lighting bonfires to enact the burning of Holika to signify the destruction of evil and the victory of good.

Burning of Holika on Holika Dahan in India

Another story from Hindu mythology depicts Holi as a celebration of the death of the demon Pootna who nearly killed Lord Krishna when he was a child. Pootna is said to signify winter and darkness. Yet another story involves the love of Krishna and Radha.

Many who play in Holi do not fully understand its religious and cultural significance, but nevertheless these events are welcome to all. Inclusion of all categories of people is an important tradition. In most parts of India, people of all castes and social strata participate together.

The Rollins College event titled 'Holi with Tars' was well attended by members of the Rollins community. Desi provided colored power, buckets of colored water and (originally) white T-shirts, along with festive Indian music and light refreshments provided by Mynt Indian Cuisine after the main celebration.

Cover Image Credit: Saisha Rattan

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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