One of India’s most charming features is the number of holidays, memorials and celebrations that are enjoyed with gusto, music, dance, and color! Colleges have many holidays celebrating Hindu, Christian and Muslim traditions, as well as government holidays as well. All institutions commemorate multiple milestones and historical events, as well as affirming and acknowledging successes and achievements. For an American, the frequency and formality of these celebrations seem overdone, but in India, they represent occasions to honor ancestors and leaders, to bring communities together, and to just plain have a good time!
Here is a clip from Stella Maris College’s recent College Day- not a graduation per se, which also comes on different days, but a general celebration of faculty and student accomplishments. It’s a chance for women to dress in their finest and most colorful garb, for students to dance and sing, and for many folks to be admired and thanked. Note the progression of the dances: from semi-traditional classical dance to a more folk style dance to dances that imitate hip hop and MTV, or perhaps it’s more Bollywood! From the ancient to the modern, these girls live in many worlds.