Holi is a Hindu festival celebrating the victory of good over evil, often referred to as the Festival of Colors due to its vibrant celebrations. These celebrations include throwing brightly-colored powders, known as gulal, and colored water on friends, family, and strangers alike.
On March 19, Festival of Globe (FOG) held its third annual Holi event at MSJ following a two-year-long hiatus due to the pandemic. Taking place at the baseball field behind MSJ, the event featured several activities, food trucks, and a performance stage at the batting cage. According to FOG Executive Director Vidya Sethuraman, the event’s purpose was to spread Hindu values to the next generation of students. “This is a time to showcase Indian culture to mainstream America and also to pass on Indian values,” Sethuraman said.
Although the event started relatively slowly, with only a few dozen people appearing in the first half-hour, many more families and individuals began pouring in by noon. Within the next hour, there were thousands of people in the area. After buying tickets, attendees were directed to a booth selling powder in colors ranging from green to red. Some chose to bring their own powders, while others brought water and spray toys to mix the powder with.
As the event continued, the stage speakers began blasting Bollywood music, the food trucks started opening up, and the event participants continued the fun by throwing gulal. Very soon, the air was filled with clouds of color, creating a multicolored haze across the field. The event coordinators then took the stage to thank the event sponsors and greet the special guests, including the Consulate General of India.
The event also featured a performance by the Bollywood Dance Connection group, a local dance group that performs Indian pop culture dances. Among the dancers was MSJ Class of 2021 Alumna Mahika Valluri, a current UC Berkeley student who returned to perform. “It was definitely really nostalgic to be dancing again… it’s nice to be back in Fremont and especially dancing for people that I know,” Valluri said.
By around 1:30 p.m., most of the event participants had left due to the heavy rainfall, but some remained. In a concluding act representative of the spirit of the festival, the final attendees worked together to clean up the grounds upon which they celebrated. However, if you look closely at the baseball field behind the school, you may notice some of the colorful spirit of celebration they left behind.
Photo courtesy of FOGSV.org