Hindus have applauded University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) for hosting Holi, Hindu “festival of color”, and are urging other universities of USA and Canada to do the same.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, welcoming this inclusion, called it a “step in the right direction”. He stressed that all US and Canadian universities, public and private, should at least hold annual Hindu festivals of Holi and Diwali on the campuses in view of reported presence of substantial number of Hindu students and professors in the universities.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Hinduism was rich in festivals and religious festivals were very dear and sacred to Hindus. Awareness about other religions thus created by such festivals would make university students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Rajan Zed noted that a more inclusive understanding of religion was needed and we should learn to live together with mutual loyalty despite our seriously different faiths. All religions were different ways to relate to the Divine, different responses to the Reality and were a positive sign of God’s generosity, Zed added.
“It is an all-out good time with water guns and colors”, UNCC website states about “Holi Moli” event, which is sponsored by Campus Activities Board whose mission includes “to enhance and unify the university community” and whose advisors include UNCC Assistant Director of Student Activities. This free event will be held on March 18 on Front Fields near the main campus entrance starting five pm.
Joie de vivre festival of Holi welcomes the beginning of spring and starts about ten days before the full moon of Phalguna. Besides color play, ceremonies also include the lighting of the bonfires, during which all evils are symbolically burnt. Holi also commemorates the frolics of youthful Lord Krishna; and celebrates the death of demoness Putana, burning of demoness Holika, and destruction of Kama by Lord Shiva. Holi fell on March 17 this year.
UNCC, public research university, founded in 1946 and spread in 1,000-acre campus, offers 21 Doctoral, 63 Master’s and 80 Bachelor’s degree programs to about 27,000 students. Karen A. Popp is Board of Trustees Chair while Philip L. Dubois is the Chancellor. Its tagline states that UNCC “prepares graduates to become active citizens of the world.”
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.