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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

What Playing Holi Meant to India

Holi, the festival of colors, is a Hindu celebration held in the spring in India that signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and end of winter. It is a festive day to play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. For our Pepperdine group, it was a day to jump right into Indian culture by dancing to Punjabi music and throwing colored powder on each other (or even random strangers) as we wished them, "Happy Holi!" By the end of the day our clothes, hair, and skin were stained in rainbow colors.

Ironically, the following day was the plea bargaining conference at National Law University (NLU) Delhi. We were concerned about the presence of our dyed skin and highlighted hair and its clash against our business professional outfits. Yet, to our surprise, the professors and staff at NLU Delhi were very proud of our participation in their Indian tradition. Even that small showing of sharing a cultural experience with them made the connection between us that much stronger.

Water balloons, egg shells, or colored powder—I welcome any hit if it means bridging the international gap to show our openness of understanding and knowing a culture different than our own. "Playing Holi" while actually in India was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never regret experiencing!

--By Chelsea McGrath