SOAR is Hosting a Holi Celebration

By Uyen Nguyen — Correspondent

The Sharing Our Asian Roots (SOAR) club of Sharon High School (SHS) is inviting everyone to the Holi festival on the Wednesday before the April break.

The festival celebrates the arrival of spring and harvest to come. Traditionally, Holi is a Hindu festival, but now people celebrate it across the world regardless of their religious and cultural backgrounds.

“Holi is loud, you can’t avoid it,” SHS School Adjustment Counselor Mr. Mahesh Balan said.

Medha Chandwani, SHS senior and leader of the SOAR club, said anyone and everyone can celebrate Holi. “There are communities that join together to play Holi, and you can play with friends, too,” Chandwani said.

Holi is observed on March 18 this year, but the Holi festival of Sharon will take place on April 13th from three to five after school.

“We are timing Holi with the availability of [Ames] field,” said Mr. Balan. “It’s also a great way to start April break.”

Holi begins with the bonfires on the evening of the full moon day, known as Holika Dahan. People gather in the streets the following morning to celebrate this “ festival of colors” by throwing and smearing friends and strangers with colored powder (gulal).

Mr. Balan said participants should wear white clothes so the colors stay on their garments. “After school, we’re going to Ames field and people will go home from there. They don’t come back to school because they’re going to be covered in color.”

Chandwani said people can wear anything they don’t mind getting dirty. “Just know that if you are going to wear a white T-shirt, it won’t ever be the same crisp white again.”

SOAR will sell colored powder, water guns, and free water balloons. “You take water guns, put food coloring in the water, and you could spray people. It’s wet, it’s fun,” said Mr. Balan.

The festival will feature the SHS Bollywood Dance Club with a short dance performance. “There will be music, lots of Indian bhangra, and a lot of dancing,” said Mr. Balan.

Mr. Balan said Holi is also a fundraiser for future cultural events. “We want to have a future education event now that the masks are coming down. This festival is an event to fund guest speakers and to educate the community on Asian culture.”

SHS sophomore Karina Mason says she is looking forward to participating in the upcoming event. “I have never experienced a Holi festival. But, it seems pretty cool and fun,” Mason said.

SHS sophomore Niketh Annareddy said he looks forward to April 13th. “I’ve personally experienced Holi only once when I was younger. If enough people were to join and if I was free, I would love to take part in the festival!” Annareddy said.

“Holi is a way to educate others on the holiday and Hindu culture,” said Chandwani.

“We hope to make [Hindus] feel accepted and have fun, especially because we never get the day off at school,” she added. “It can get overwhelming with celebrating and school work.”

Mr. Balan said he wants people to feel like riding a roller coaster at amusement parks. “I want people to have fun, feel like part of the community, experience Holi, Indian music, and a new culture.”

“The main objective of SOAR is to celebrate Asian culture,” Mr. Balan said. “We want to educate the community on the diversity of our community and to involve them in different celebrations of our different cultures.”

“We’d love to have more representations of Asian students or even if you are not Asian and just curious about Asian culture,” he added.

The SOAR club held its meetings on Mondays after school in the library. SHS students are welcome to contact Mr. Balan if any are interested in joining.

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