Bonaire Middle School in Bonaire (Georgia, USA) reportedly celebrated Holi, the Hindu festival of color, on March nine.
According to reports, seventh-graders of this school, lead by their teacher Telisa Cunningham, chased and doused one another on the school grounds with gulal , the traditional colored powder ordered from India, and ate Indian traditional sweetmeat of jalebi. She reportedly described it as an “enrichment opportunity”. Another teacher Shannon Sanders later sprayed-off the color from participants with a water hose. Students had fun, reports suggest.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded Bonaire Middle for thus creating awareness among students through Holi about Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world with a rich philosophy and about one billion adherents. It was a step in the right direction, Zed added.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged all Georgia schools to celebrate major Hindu festivals; like Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Raksha Bandhan, etc.
Rajan Zed argued that opening-up of culturally diverse Georgia schoolchildren to major world religions and non-believers’ viewpoint would make them well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. It also made a good business sense to know the beliefs of “others” in a global community. Moreover, students should have knowledge of the entire society to become full participants in the society, Zed pointed out.
Joie de vivre festival of Holi, which fell on March eight this year, welcomes the beginning of spring and starts about ten days before the full moon of Phalguna. Besides color, the ceremonies include the lighting of the bonfires, during which all evils are symbolically burnt. Holi also commemorates the frolics of youthful Lord Krishna; celebrates the death of demoness Putana, burning of demoness Holika, and destruction of Kama by Shiva. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
About 27,000 students attend Houston County Board of Education (HCBE) schools of which Bonaire Middle, a “Georgia School of Excellence”, is a part. Students at HCBE, whose mission is to “produce high-achieving students”, speak about 34 languages. Tom Walmer is Chairman of HCBE Board, James R. Hines Junior is its Superintendent, and Cindy Randall is Bonaire’s Principal.