‘Holi Dhamaka’ welcomes spring with colorful culture


Leo Woods

Students celebrate Holi with vibrant colored powder in Roemer Plaza.

Suffolk University’s Bollywood dance team Fusion Dhamaka celebrated the Hindu holiday Holi in the Roemer Plaza with its “Holi Dhamaka” event April 11, featuring dance performances, a food truck and the holiday’s signature colored powder.

The event featured a group performance by Fusion Dhamaka, solos by seniors Julia Fusco and Amy Ramsepaul, a performance by dance captain apprentices and a collaboration with Rampage Show Choir in a featured joint production.

Asma Akbar, the Interfaith Center’s Scholar, introduced the event with an explanation of Holi. The festival celebrates the beginning of spring and is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Indian people and others of South Asian origin. This year, Holi was on March 8.

During the performances, dancers covered themselves with colored powder, called gulal or abir. The vibrant colors mark the beginning of the new season and are the tell-tale sign that a Holi celebration has occurred. 

Following the performances, music filled the plaza as hundreds of bags of colored powder were opened. The wind carried it, and there was no face or item of clothing untouched by the rainbow.

Akhila John, co-president of Fusion Dhamaka, said the event was an incredible success. A Holi celebration had been an aspirational goal for Fusion Dhamaka for a long time, she said, and it was amazing to see it come to fruition.

“I’m so happy people enjoyed it, they’re having their fun, doing their thing. We’re so blessed that it turned out great,” John said.

John said that Fusion Dhamaka plans to continue putting on a Holi celebration as a spring semester companion to its annual Fusion Fest. She added that the Suffolk community’s response encouraged the group to pursue making the event annual.

Co-president Ramsepaul echoed John’s sentiments about the event. She said seeing the Suffolk community come together to learn about Holi and celebrate the culture it comes from was meaningful. 

“I am so pleased and so happy that a part of my culture came to Suffolk University. I felt like I made an impact, and I felt that a lot of students felt at home with this event,” Ramsepaul said.