No Holi festival for Langara students

Students were disappointed they could not celebrate the festival at Langara College.

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Reported by Jason Gilder

There was no Holi, the Hindu spring festival of colour, for Langara students despite a large Indian and Indo-Canadian community on campus.

The festivities last two days and started March 12. The ancient religious festival is celebrated primarily in India and Nepal but also around the world. People smear colourful pastes and powders on each other as they welcome the arrival of spring.

Last year, 10 per cent of all Langara students were from India. While the college has hosted Diwali events in the past, many students wanted a chance to celebrate Holi on campus.

In India, second-year computer science student Jagmail Dhillon, always celebrated the holiday and said that with such a high East Indian population at Langara, it doesn’t make sense to him that there is no Holi event.

“They have events here for Christmas and other holidays,” Dhillon said. “Why wouldn’t they have one for Holi?”

He also said it is confusing to him, because the school uses student fees to raise funds for events like this.

Students want to celebrate Holi on campus

Harman Singh, of Langara’s South Asian Club, said their group is aware of the absence, but feels the school does not have the funding to hold a Holi event.

“To host a Holi event can be very expensive,” Singh said. “I do not feel Langara has a large enough space to accommodate such an event.”

He said that Langara should promote cultural diversity by focusing on a variety of groups and that there are many cultures on campus that should receive their own events.

The club is contributing to the promotion of a Holi event at UBC, being organized by the UBC Indian Students Association and taking place March 18.

Second-year computer science student Gurjinder Singh made it clear how important Holi is back in India. He said the entire country engages in the vibrant festival.

“Everybody in India celebrates it,” Singh said. “It’s a big part of the culture.”

Langara College has more international students from India than any other country. Langara at a Glance, screenshot.

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