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Student's #loveinternational at Holi Festival of colour

Students turned a city park into a sea of pink, blue, green and yellow on Friday, spreading peace and love for all at a festival which is creating quite a name for itself at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

#DMUISHOLI saw hundreds of students and staff come together to throw bright coloured paints hues at each other as the festival made an explosively colourful return, raising money for charity.

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And in a week where Article 50 was triggered and the process for leaving the European Union began, the start of the event was marked with a #loveinternational statement from those in attendance, reaffirming everyone that the university is open to all.

The event in Bede Park began with a speech from De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) Vice President Student Activities and President-elect Ahtesham Mahmood, before the Indian Society officially declared the festival open, creating frenzy as powder paint and party poppers filled the sunny early spring sky.

Ahtesham said: “The festival of Holi has been held at DMU for the past 5 years and the Indian Society has played a massive part in the event each year.

“Holi marks the end of winter and the start of spring, giving us an opportunity to come together and cherish the life that we live.”

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Those in attendance received the first packet of colour for free, with additional powder available for purchase for £1 for 100g, £2.50 for 350g and £5 for 600g.

DSU’s Indian Society teamed up with DMU Square Mile for the festival with funds raised going to the DMU Square Mile India fund and DSU’s chosen charities, Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) and Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Neha Shah, Indian Society President and MBA Global student, said: “We welcome everyone and we are showing love and peace through the spreading of colours, the different colours of the rainbow, a rainbow of peace.

“I am so proud of the team and what we’ve achieved as it is down to them that this whole thing is possible. Just look how happy everyone is here today and that’s what it’s all about, spreading the happiness.

“Square Mile has been so amazing and supportive to ensure that this event goes ahead as they did with the Bollywood Party a few months ago. Sam Wright from the Square Mile team and Katherine Derwent from DSU have really helped ensure everything was in palce and we are delighted it has been such a huge success and we’re hoping to raise valuable funds.”

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The Square Mile India fund was created to support children in the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where DMU students have experienced awe inspiring trips in recent months and have made a tremendous difference to lives of the people who live there.

Joe Humphries Memorial Trust and Medical Aid for Palestinians are charities which are close to DSU having supported them in previous years with through other charitable initiatives.

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This years’ event was also supported by the Faculty of Technology, International Admissions and Dalton Manor arts and crafts suppliers.

Back in September students turned up in their hundreds for a similar festival of colour during the DSU Freshers’ Week, #FreshFest16 where over £1000 was raised for the Square Mile India fund.

Posted on Friday 31st March 2017

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