By Kiyanna Noel
Club International and the club Nepalese at Plattsburgh will be hosting their annual Holi event April 16 in front of Kent Hall from 1 to 4 p.m. Holi is the Hindu festival of color that represents good over evil in different regions in India and Nepal. The event will have water balloons, pools and colorful powders.
After hosting a variety of diverse events such as Global Beading, an event to understand the meaning of beads in different cultures, International DJ, meaning to showcase different music, and Ayyam-I-Ha, a festival representing hospitality and generosity, the club has decided to host Holi to create an authentic holiday experience. The campus-wide event will also have South Asian food.
President of Club International Dhir Jain acknowledges that this club is one of the oldest clubs on campus made to create a community for students away from home.
“We organize these events so we don’t feel lonely. We have our values and cultures still going on in the United States,” Jain said. “Staying away from home and still making this place feel like home that’s what we do.”
Vice President Sumeet Vishwakarma, an Indian international student, appreciates how Club International brings a sense of diversity to campus.
“This is one of the oldest clubs. We have been present in it and it doesn’t only focus on the Asian people,” Vishwakarma said. “It’s like focusing on all the countries of people and it’s being celebrated to bring people together to make a means of life and making the university very diverse.”
Knowing the difference between going to an event as opposed to planning it is also something that matters when it comes to Club International. Vishwakarma stresses the importance of the behind the scenes work that makes each event sentimental and work cohesively.
“We have been over the years celebrating different types of cultural events and all the things and being a member is really important because I have learned that celebrating that festival and organizing that festival is really different,” Vishwakarma said. “Working at the back is a very important thing because you see everyone working together to make the event successful.”
Doing research is a big part of the foundation of Club International. Jain explains how without the research the club would misrepresent different cultural religions and beliefs, not only offending others but being an inconsiderate person as well.
“Serving as a president for Club International, it means not only coming from India as a South Asian country, but after coming over here I’ve learned that my perspective is not only toward one country. But also to other preferences, other cultures, values and beliefs in general,” Jain said. “We have to think a lot before keeping our event, what would other clubs and religious think of our perception.”
The club not only showcases the different cultures through dances, but through food and language.
Secretary Shunya Okazaki, a Japanese international student, has adjusted his taste buds and can now handle some spicy foods. Okazaki improved his tolerance for spicy and began understanding Hindi after joining Club International. He explained how this club went above and beyond to understand other cultures by asking students of different cultural backgrounds what music is popular in their countries for their DJ event.
This celebration is open to everyone willing to be covered in color, represent love and welcome the spring season. For more information on the Holi event, email president Jain at firstname.lastname@example.org.