Kicking off the event, Salisha Baranwal, a Research Laboratory Tech in the Spencer-Segal Lab, presented on the Hindu holiday Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors.
Holi celebrates the arrival of spring, and for many, it is a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. Attendees created colorful cookies together as a nod to the holiday.
NGP Student Tahrim Choudhury then spoke about Ramadan, which commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn until sunset. This fasting is a means for cultivating self-control in the physical aspects of one’s life. Ramadan is also a time to practice patience, gratitude, and compassion; provide service to others; gather as a community; and focus on spiritual development. Attendees shared their deeper understandings of Holi and Ramadan by drawing on a giant poster in colorful markers.
The event was well-attended and a resounding success, bringing many a sense of togetherness and belonging. "The [email protected] Holi and Ramadan event really meant a lot to me. It was nice to see people in the neuroscience community show up with open minds, ready to learn about and celebrate different cultures with us," said Tahrim. "I really felt seen and was happy to share a part of myself with everyone."
Added Salisha, “I never thought anyone outside of my culture would respect and love my culture as I do. The event celebrating Holi and Ramadan showed me just how excited the people around me are to learn and celebrate with me. I loved the enthusiasm, even during the organization process, everyone pitched in with work and ideas. I felt included.”
Happy Holi and Ramadan Mubarak!