United colours of good learning
by Mareaya Fayaz
The recent Holi celebrations in the girls’ hostel of the Jammu University proved,
yet again, that sharing the joy of celebration is among the biggest ways to bond beyond
THE loud shout of ‘Bura na maano Holi hai’ had no meaning for me until I joined the
university where students from all religions, different regions and cultures come together.
Separated by religions, regions and genders the thing that brings us together is our thirst
for knowledge. After joining the university, I realised there was one more thing that brings us closer – a shared enjoyment – and what better than the fun we share while celebrating different festivals together!
We recently celebrated the festival of Holi on our hostel premises and it was definitely a
bonding moment for all of us. All the women, irrespective of religion, region or culture and
whether they celebrated Holi or not, came together to colour each other, splash water at
each other, dance together and simply have fun together. The celebration saw girls perform different dances with the others cheering them on. There were tasty treats to add that feel of special something to the moment. The festival of Holi is celebrated in Jammu & Kashmir in its own traditional manner, with Holika Dahan (burning) on the first day and splashing of colours and water on the second day. The run-up and excitement leading up to the festival begins a week before the real festival with both young and old feeling great enthusiasm. Kids buy toys, water pistols, and vibrant balloons. The markets in the UT are full of such kiddie stuff at this time. I got talking to a few women on the campus, asking them how they felt about celebrating the festival. Ashfana, who hails from Rajouri district, said she had never celebrated any festival except religious festivals of her own community and that this was the first time she was celebrating Holi. “I have definitely enjoyed. Watching girls dance to the sound of a dhol has been fun, a new experience. Yes, I guess, festivals do bring us closer”, she said. Rukaya, a girl from Doda district, said she
hadn’t had this much fun since a long time and would like to do this again if given a chance!
She chirped: “It was a mesmerising experience and it will stay with me for a long time. I will always cherish these memories and they will go with me wherever I go”.
Priyanka, a scholar who organised a group dance during the celebrations, said she was
thrilled to perform in front of such a wonderful crowd that cheered so heartily. “It really boosted our confidence and it was really a great experience for those who participated
and those who cheered. Everyone enjoyed the moment and I think it really brought us
closer”. A woman from Srinagar shared that like many others, she had had no experience of Holi earlier but that didn’t stop her from enjoying with her friends. They danced to the beats, threw colour at each other, drenched each other with water balloons, and she said, “I definitely loved it! I never knew that moving to another place and being with people from
other communities could be such a lively experience!” Nandita, a student of Law, said: “This festival has certainly brought us closer together. I saw students from different communities coming together and enjoying. Moments like these are worth cherishing and they should be created again and again. Institutions should certainly focus on such activities apart from education”. Deeksha, another student said that the Holi Mahostav at this girls’ hostel in the University of Jammu was splendid. “We all enjoyed a lot. The refreshment from our dearest Provost Mam was wonderful. It was really a great event. Love to see this side of our second family”. It is indeed true that the people you spend
most of your time with, become your family. This institution has provided us with new
families with whom we share our joys and sorrows and also celebrate our festivals. This
kind of sharing is a part of good education!