UBC Holi is back again. This event that honours the cultural and religious festival celebrated by Nepalese and Indian people is being brought to our campus by the UTSAV — UBC Indian Student Association and The Calendar. When I first saw the event, it raised some major red flags. I thought to myself, “Oh, UBC is back at it again with their culturally appropriative events.” Yeah, Yoga Rave, I’m looking at you. But when I heard that UTSAV was one of the organizers, I was confident that this event is an attempt to share this deeply important holiday with us non-Nepalese/non-Indian/non-Hindu folk.
Now I first want to point out that I am neither Nepalese or Indian-identified and I am in no place to decide what these folks should be offended about. I’m just a person who cares about political correctness and I’m here to “ruin everything” so people don’t run around being inconsiderate bigots.
Holi, if done right, can be a beautiful and glorious form of cultural exchange. But if you’re not going to this event with the intention of exchanging knowledge and learning about another person’s culture, you need to sit down. If you’re going to this event to get a hip, colourful profile pic or 100 Insta likes, then do everybody a favour and just stay home.
For those who celebrate Holi, it is the festival of sharing love and the festival of colours. It’s a significant holiday which is meant to mark the beginning of spring and celebrate forgiveness and renewal. If you’re about to trivialize this holiday into some one-off event so you can get a few likes, then please don’t go.
Consider Holi as somebody’s home. When someone invites you to their home — a very personal part of someone’s life — you wouldn’t put your feet up, take a couple pictures and peace it. That’s rude. This event is an invitation to something personal and meaningful, so don’t be a lazy and inconsiderate participant, and like any good guest, don’t overstay your welcome.
Rachel Lau is a staff writer at The Ubyssey. Their opinions are their own.