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UT to celebrate diversity at Holi Toledo event

The University of Toledo invites the community to attend a colorful celebration of different cultures and religions.

Holi Toledo, an all-campus celebration of the Indian holiday Holi, will take place 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 9 in the outdoor field next to Memorial Field House on Main Campus.

Holi Toledo will have a “color zone” surrounded by booths and at each booth, students and community members will learn from a different cultural or religious student organization. They also will receive powdered color, which will be used throughout the day to cover attendees.

“It’s a way of welcoming spring; the colors are symbolic of all the colors nature throws at us in spring,” said Dr. Jeanine Diller, director of the UT Center for Religious Understanding. “The colors also are symbolic of the different cultural and religious orientations on campus and the joy there is in living them out. Holi reminds us of our shared humanity behind social differences because everybody ends up looking the same at the end of the day, covered with all the colors.”

At the UT event, those at the booths will wear T-shirts that say “Ask me about a meaningful… belief, quote, experience.” Students who come to the booth pick one of these choices and hear a one-sentence response so that they can learn about that culture or religion even in the frenzy of the color throwing.

“We thought it would be great to have both religious and cultural student organizations to celebrate the diversity that the holiday of Holi represents,” Diller said.

Holi began as a Hindu celebration of the victory of a good man, Prahlad, over the demon Holika, a battle symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.

Students will be entered in a drawing for $100 if they visit enough booths and learn about the different organizations. There also will be prizes for the individual with the most colors at the end of the event, and free white Holi Toledo T-shirts will be given to the first 200 people to arrive.

Color throwing will begin at 3:15 p.m. with every 15 minutes attendees simultaneously tossing their colors on one another. It is recommended that attendees wear clothes that can be stained; while the color is water soluble, it is not guaranteed to wash out.

Along with powdered color, the event will feature Indian music, some of which is specific to the holiday.

The event is part of Diversity Week at The University of Toledo.

is UT's Director of University Communications. Contact her at 419.530.2410 or
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