Scores of students descended on Bede Park last Thursday to celebrate Holi.
The event, which celebrates the Hindu Festival of Spring, organised by De Montfort Students’ Union’s Indian Society, saw students and staff members alike mark the celebrations in the traditional way by throwing coloured powder over each other.
The event also helped to raise funds for a children’s home in the Indian state of Gujarat through DMU’s Square Mile India initiative. The £428 raised will go towards the cost of books, medicine and equipment for sports and games.
Bhaskar Pandya, Indian Society president, said: “It was a great event and a great success. We feel proud and also thankful to the people who supported this cause, like the students of De Montfort University.
“Being the president of the society and also being involved in raising money for the first time made me feel good.
“[The fundraising] is important because back in India everyone knows there are different regions where you always see poverty.
“I think that it will make a lot of difference to children’s lives. As a society it was paramount that we do something.”
Lizzie Bloodworth, a first-year Social Work student, was there with her friend Georgia Hawksworth, and both of them were attending their first Holi event on Bede Park.
They explained that although they didn’t know what to expect, they both had a great time.
Lizzie said: “It was nice, and although not something I’d usually do, it was quite amusing to throw powdered paint at each other!”
Lizzie said that the fundraising was for a great cause, and one she can relate to.
She added: “Personally, I’m Christian myself, but it’s something very close to my heart. My family sponsor a child in Africa and I think it’s really important.”
Georgia, a first-year Business and Management student, said that she enjoyed the event, and as such, she is going to find out more about Holi.
She said: “I’m not going to lie I don’t know a lot about it still, but I am going to find out more as I’ve had a lot of fun today.
“I think that any charity event is worth attending and any donations are great.”
Sushan Kothare, a third-year Pharmacy student, was at the event with coursemate Visha Chandarna, and praised the charity work as well as the festivities.
“I came last year as well and it was really good. A lot of people came. Today’s been really good; I know a lot of people as well so I was with my mates.”
Visha, though never having celebrated Holi at Bede Park, had previously been in India whilst people were celebrating it.
She said: “It’s been good. I don’t really know that many people except for Sushan, my friends aren’t here yet so I was just getting anyone!”
Visha also praised the inclusive feel to the event, adding: “It’s such a multi-cultural university, and there are so many different cultures here, which is really nice.”
You can find out more about DSU’s Indian Society on their page here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.