Mercer Masala partnered with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to host a Holi celebration on Black Field on Sunday. This is the first Holi event to be held on campus in two years, as it was canceled in 2020 and 2021.
Holi is a Hindu holiday that is also referred to as the Festival of Spring and the Festival of Colors. One of the celebration rituals involves throwing colored powders and spraying water at others. The holiday this year took place on March 18.
Mercer Masala is a South Asian and Middle Eastern culture club which, according to Mercer’s website, has a goal of “(providing) students on this campus with a variety of cultural experiences in an effort to spread both awareness and appreciation for the diverse traditions that flourish in those parts of the world.” In addition to Holi, this year they also hosted a Diwali dinner and a Garba night.
Senior Esha Shah is the treasurer of Mercer Masala and helped plan this year’s event.
“I was working on the logistics of the event with how much powder we needed, how much it would cost and stuff like that,” Shah said.
Ansley Booker, the director of diversity and inclusion initiatives at Mercer, also helped plan this year’s event, but emphasized that students had the largest role in putting it together.
“We always try to make sure that we are supporting students at every turn,” Booker said. “We knew that the festival was happening so we actually came on board with Mercer Masala, the student group that was planning it. We really just wanted to support the students.”
For the event, the planning committee brought in food from local restaurants in Atlanta and traditional snacks.
Students from both Mercer’s Macon and Atlanta campuses were in attendance at the event.
“I think this year’s event was very successful,” Shah said. “I think that having the Atlanta students come up was a really good idea and it was a good experience for them too.”
Katie Lloyd works as the Assistant Director of Global Services in International Student Services at Mercer’s Atlanta campus.
“We have an initiative to try to involve not just international students but the Mercer community in international and cultural events,” Lloyd said. “It’s a good chance for the Atlanta students to see the Macon campus.”
Booker and Lloyd both participated in the event alongside the students.
“I feel great,” Booker said. “This is my first time I actually celebrated, I’m super enthused. I feel like a kid again.”
Junior Bhumi Patel also attended this year’s event.
“It’s been a while since we did Holi,” Patel said. “We tried to do it last year but it got canceled because of rain, and the year before that there was COVID.”
Shah and Patel said they both enjoy celebrating such an important holiday on Mercer’s campus.
“Having these celebrations at Mercer means a lot to me because my culture is a very important part of who I am and being able to share that with my friends at college makes it feel appreciated,” Shah said.
Samantha Homcy ‘23 is a junior at Mercer majoring in journalism and criminal justice. She has been working at The Cluster since her freshman year and served as Social Media Co-Manager during the spring 2021 semester. She is currently a practicum intern with WMAZ-TV. In her free time she enjoys music, community service, watching TV and finding new ways to get involved on Mercer’s campus.