When you move out of home, you cherish your culture more than you ever did before! That happens to everyone and is very evident when people move to a more international and more diverse setting.
I come from India, where we have numerous festivals, for various cultural, traditional and religious reasons, but one underlying motivation of celebrating life with family and friends. Holi, the festival of colours, celebrates the onset of spring. People splash each other with colours, coloured water, water balloons and water guns. No one is spared. Sounds annoying? Trust me, it’s everything but annoying – it’s fun, it’s crazy, it’s Holi!
On the 12th of March, the students of HEC (Indians and their friends from all over the world) and the inhabitants of the city of Jouy-en-Josas (Jovaciens, as they are called) celebrated Holi at the Community Hall. Everyone was covered in all sorts of colours. We celebrated not just with colours, but also with dance, cricket, Indian food, and Indian culture. There were stalls and workshops on yoga, meditation, Hindi language, and the musical instrument, tablas. The Jovaciens got themselves clicked in Indian outfits available at the photo booth, and the whole program concluded with Indian dance and music cultural show.
The Associate Deans of the Grande Ecole and the MBA, Eloïc-Anil Peyrache and Andrea Masini, but also the Director of Academic Affairs, Marcelle Laliberté, also joined and graced the event. Thanks to Mairie de Jouy-en-Josas, Célia, and Agnès from the International Office at HEC, for all the organisation and coordination. Thanks to all the Indian students from the MBA and Masters programs, for their work and dedication towards making this event fun and successful.
We, as Indians, have numerous memories of playing Holi with our friends and families but were least expecting to find the same here. Holi at Jouy, now added to our list. Everyone took the opportunity to boast about this to their family and friends, and by that I obviously mean that Facebook and Instagram were flooded with colourful pictures of people playing Holi (cute little French kids included !), playing cricket, eating Indian food, and enjoying everything Indian. Like they say, ‘Staying at a home away from home should not stop people from celebrating their festivals’.