SOAR Celebrates with Flying Colors

Students Experience the Hindu Holi Festival

Beautiful colors filled the sky as the DIS community threw gulal (traditional Hindu Holi powder) high up in the air. Kids from kindergarten to 3rd grade, parents, teachers, and SOAR (Students Organizing Against Racism) members gathered on the futsal field for the group’s annual celebration of Holi. 

The crew aimed to commemorate the traditional Hindu festival, which marks the start of spring. Along with the color throw, SOAR also brought back last year’s hand-made advisory video and handed out traditional snacks – gulab jamun, soan papdi, and motichoor laddu – to all students on the day of the celebration during recess.

Success didn’t come without effort, though. 12th grader Betty, president of SOAR, said, “The general event proposition itself was much smoother [than last year], but because we had more elementary schoolers to manage for this event – it literally doubled – and also because the weather did not allow us to host the event on the day that we originally planned, adjusting to that and adjusting to more elementary population was a big challenge. Also, with more SOAR members and ES SOAR joining us, it was a bit of a challenge to coordinate all of those groups.” 

But in the end, everything went to its right place. That afternoon, kids screamed with delight as they ran around and threw powder at each other. 2nd grader Harika commented, “My favorite part was when everyone gathered up together and made a big crowd of color. I would love to participate again next year because I’m from India and I love Holi.” Alex in grade 5, also a member of ES SOAR, added that he made festive memories with his friends throwing gulal. The field sure looked more vibrant than ever with all the powder.

Parents enjoyed the event as well. Niha and Tanu’s mother said, “I participated here, and I loved it, and it’s very colorful. But I would love it for other kids to join as it is only to grade 3, and it might become difficult to control, but some kids I saw wanted to join.”

Celebrations like Holi help us learn more about other cultures represented on campus. Betty emphasized, “I think we just want cultural representation at the end of the day. SOAR aims to represent every culture that is here at DIS because it is a big part of identity formation and if you see your culture represented on the scene of DIS, I think it benefits the community in a meaningful way.”

If you missed out on this year’s festival, look out for next March. As Betty said, “I think more people joining Holi to celebrate the Hindu culture and to have fun would be awesome! I remember how last year, our officers dreamed about one day the whole DIS community going crazy throwing colors and celebrating Holi.” Hopefully, SOAR can carry out its plan next year and open this vibrant experience to the entire school.