PHOTO ESSAY: SASA Holds Fourth Annual Holi Festival

The South Asian Student Association (SASA) held their fourth annual Holi festival on April 9 at Montclair State University.

People gather to commence the throwing of Gulal.
Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

Guests from the Student Government Association (SGA), Hawksquad, Alpha Sigma Rho Sorority Rho Inc. (ASR) and Delta Sigma Iota (DSI) from Rutgers New Brunswick came to celebrate the festival in person for the first time since the coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic.

Mayra Lanza and Solange Lanza Quisbert perform a dance routine with Gulal.  Joni Mae De Los Santos |  The Montclarion

Mayra LaMantia and Solange Lanza Quisbert perform a dance routine with Gulal.
Joni Mae De Los Santos | The Montclarion

Everything was a canvas that day as vibrant pinks, greens and all colors of the rainbow filled the air while people splashed and chased each other with Gulal (colored powders).

From the delicious biryani to the traditional folk music, the streets were filled with people dancing and celebrating the start of something new.

Mayra Lanza and Solange Lanza Quisbert finish their performance.  Joni Mae De Los Santos |  The Montclarion

Mayra LaMantia and Solange Lanza Quisbert finish their performance.
Joni Mae De Los Santos | The Montclarion

Mayra LaMantia, a graduate computer science student, and Solange Lanza Quisbert, a senior computer science major, kicked off the event, followed by accounting majors, sophomore Ansa Bijo, and junior Swastika Dey, who performed a traditional dance.

Ansa Bijo and Swastika Dey perform a dance.  Lynise Olivacce |  The Montclarion

Ansa Bijo and Swastika Dey perform a dance. Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

To top it off, Rutgers New Brunswick’s DSI performed a routine.

Delta Sigma Iota (DSI) from Rutgers New Brunswick, performs a dance routine.  Lynise Olivacce |  The Montclarion

Delta Sigma Iota (DSI) from Rutgers New Brunswick, performs a dance routine.
Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

The rousing energy reflected the appreciation they have for Holi, which means the arrival of spring and victory of good over evil.

The color blue signifies the Hindu God Krishna.  Joni Mae De Los Santos |  The Montclarion

The color blue signifies the Hindu God Krishna. Joni Mae De Los Santos | The Montclarion

Genesis Nuñez, a sophomore psychology major and the Red Hawk accreditation chair of ASR, said the energy was contagious and fun all around.

“It was one of the first cultural events I’ve attended since being a student on this campus,” Nuñez said. “Everything from the food to the music was to be enjoyed by their community and their guests. And of course, the colors were a magnificent sight to see as people laughed and screamed of joy, throwing the colorful powder at each other. ”

A man brings a girl to his forearm.  Joni Mae De Los Santos |  The Montclarion

An unidentified man covers a girl’s head with Gulal.
Joni Mae De Los Santos | The Montclarion

Kaushal Patel, a junior business administration major and secretary of SASA, was pleased with the outcome of the event.

“We all feel pretty good if we were able to conduct [an] event in this unexpected weather, ”Patel said.“ We were looking for members who want to explore [Montclair State] who [were] not able to enjoy in COVID-19 times and I believe we have fulfilled that enjoyment as we all are getting [used] to the new environment. ”

From the Gulal on his glasses, an unidentified person looks at people throwing Gulal at each other.  Lynise Olivacce |  The Montclarion

From the Gulal on his glasses, an unidentified person looks at people throwing Gulal at each other.
Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

Patel further explained more of what the future holds for SASA.

“This event is just [a] new beginning for the future that is packed with new event[s] until the end of the semester and many upcoming semesters, ”Patel said.

Ansa Bijo and Swastika Dey perform a dance.  Lynise Olivacce |  The Montclarion

Ansa Bijo and Swastika Dey perform a dance. Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

People throw purple Gulal at each other.  Joni Mae De Los Santos |  The Montclarion

People throw purple Gulal at each other.
Joni Mae De Los Santos | The Montclarion

Mayra Lanza,

Mayra Lanza, a graduate computer science student, performs with blue Gulal.
Joni Mae De Los Santos | The Montclarion

An unidentified man prepares to throw yellow Gulal.  Lynise Olivacce |  The Montclarion

An unidentified man prepares to throw yellow Gulal.
Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

An unidentified man throws a cloud of blue Gulal.  Joni Mae De Los Santos |  The Montclarion

An unidentified man throws a cloud of blue Gulal. Joni Mae De Los Santos | The Montclarion

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