On Thursday, Apr. 20 at 5:00 p.m, Top Naach, Muhlenberg’s South Asian affinity group, hosted their annual festival celebrating Holi at Parent’s Plaza. It included an evening full of food, music, performances and colored powder. Holi is a popular Hindu festival that welcomes spring and symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. It is a celebration of spring, color and love.
Ruhani Singh ‘23, the current president of Top Naach discussed what Holi means to her. “Since childhood, Holi is one of the biggest festivals I have celebrated with my friends and family in India, and so having that celebration even a month later here at ‘Berg makes me feel connected to my culture and reminds me of home. This festival is quite big in different parts of South Asia and is celebrated by anyone who wishes to be a part. It is a time for friends, family [and] relatives to come together, engage in color and water play-fights and eat different kinds of food items.”
“Holi is one of the biggest festivals I have celebrated with my friends and family in India, and so having that celebration even a month later here at ‘Berg makes me feel connected to my culture and reminds me of home.”Ruhani Singh ’23
Mayhem Step Team, Copacetic Rhythms, Perkulators, MINT* and Noteworthy A Capella opened for Top Naach.
After that, Top Naach took the stage with a medley of songs. They opened with “Kajra Re,” which is a flirty song from the movie “Bunty Aur Babli.” They then performed “The Breakup Song,” a peppy song about the aftermath of a breakup. “Pasoori/Calm Down” was a mash up between a famous Urdu song “Pasoori” and a famous Afrobeats song “Calm Down.”
“Roz Roz” is a slow song about exploring and finding yourself and learning to not depend on others. This song was special because it was also a motif for the Top Naach seniors passing off the torch to their underclassmen. “Appadi Pode – Nakka Mukka” is a South Indian classic, which is a song that is typically played at every party and is a hype song. Singh added “one of my favorite songs to perform was ‘Nakka Mukka,’ just because while rehearsing it with the group we all shared so much energy and it brought joy to all of us!”
One of the performers in Top Naach, Sinhayana Srinivasan ‘26 talked about performing with her peers in Top Naach. She said “I really loved the Holi festival, I think the amount of effort and care put into it showed in an amazing way with how wonderfully the event turned out. What was most memorable for me were the night dance practices I had with the club members, I got to know so many fantastic individuals more personally and connect with them all.”
“I really loved the Holi festival, I think the amount of effort and care put into it showed in an amazing way with how wonderfully the event turned out.”Sinhayana Srinivasan ’26
Guests were able to try a variety of Indian dishes: Chili Paneer, which is an Indian cheese made from full-fat cow or buffalo milk. Pakora, a deep fried fritter with potatoes and onions and coated in flour. Chicken 65, a spicy and deep-fried chicken dish. And a dessert known as Gulab Jamun, which translates to “Rose water Berry” in English. They also served a yogurt based mango drink Mango Lassi.
On the program passed out to guests, it states that “Holi is celebrated differently across the world. People eat a lot of sweets, and the entire day is filled with fun and laughter with water and color fights. Some popular foods eaten during Holi are Gujiya, Thandai Barfi and Dahi Bhalla.”
Top Naach ended the dance performance with “Madhubala,” a song representing the spirit of Holi and celebration. After the performance, guests were encouraged to join Top Naach on the College Green to conclude the evening with throwing and playing with colored powders.