HOLA Festival

The end result.The end result.

To encourage a healthy balance of academics and extracurricular activities amongst the students of UTAR, the Asian Cultural Society (ACS) of UTAR Kampar Campus successfully organised a two-in-one outdoor activity titled “HOLA Festival” at the Sports Complex of Kampar Campus on 9 April 2016.

Participated by more than 220 participants including members of the Kampar public and themed ‘Colour up your souls, brighten up your spirit’, the event integrated station games and the Holi celebration. The “HOLA Festival” was aimed to impart knowledge of other traditions and cultures and to encourage the embracing of diversity to build effective teams.

Charles (fourth from right) and Sri (fifth from right) posing with some international students who participated.

Charles (fourth from right) and Sri (fifth from right) posing with some international students who participated.

During the opening ceremony, UTAR Faculty of Business and Finance Lecturer-cum-Advisor of the ACS Charles Ramendran praised the organising committee’s effort in making the “HOLA Festival” a success. He said, “It gives me great pleasure to attend this event as well as to see our UTAR students organise such a meaningful and enjoyable event with the aim of bringing peace and joy to all the participants. I would like to congratulate the organising committee for all your hard work in planning and executing this event today.”

He added, “Apart from bringing joy and peace among participants, the event also aims to spread knowledge about the rich diversity of cultures and traditions of Malaysians, not only to locals but also to our own international students. I am happy to see students and the Kampar community of many backgrounds gathered here today. I request the organising committee to hold more extracurricular activities in order to promote a balanced university life and to foster a successful university experience among all students.”

Organising Chairperson R. Sri Dharisanan expressed his gratitude to everyone for their kind presence and support. “Our event is organised to uphold unity, peace, and happiness among UTAR students as well as to provide an avenue for our students to engage with the Kampar community. On behalf of the organising committee, I hope that all the participants will learn about teamwork and break down all the cultural barriers between you and celebrate this “HOLA Festival” to the fullest.”

Two participants completing their ‘Army Crawl Game’.

Two participants completing their ‘Army Crawl Game’.

“HOLA Festival” was divided into two major segments, namely station games and Holi celebration. The first part with station games combined ten exciting outdoor sports and games with different themes that tested students’ physical and mental strength as well as their teamwork and communication, namely ‘Mud Game’, ‘Multi-tasking Game’, ‘Black Box Game’, ‘General Knowledge Game’, ‘Army Crawl Game’, ‘Marble Collect Game’, ‘Stick/Ice Bucket Game’, ‘Food Game’, ‘Water Balloon Game’, and ‘Physical Game’.

‘Mud Game’ in progress.

‘Mud Game’ in progress.

Following the flag off, 16 teams with 15 participants each raced to finish the station games’ challenges. They had to complete all challenges at all stations and were allocated a time limit of 10 to 15 minutes for each station.

Team ‘MINT’ emerged as champion, followed by Team ‘PINK’ as the first runner-up. The top two teams received cash cheques worth RM225 and RM150 respectively, certificates, T-shirts, and goody bags from the Organising Chairperson.

The other part of the festival consisted of a Holi celebration. During the celebration, the participants blended together and smeared their faces, hair, and clothes with bright pink, yellow, and purple coloured powder and water. Holi is an ancient Hindu spring festival of joy which brings the message of friendship and goodwill.

Participants during the food challenge.

Participants during the food challenge.

Psychology student Yusra Nasser enthused, “It was fun to participate in this “HOLA Festival”. This outdoor activity provides a meaningful way to engage us with people from all walks of life. The station games were really captivating and the same goes to Holi which was filled with fun and laughter.”

Another participant, Biochemistry student S. Sri Sangliswaran said, “Though we did not manage to win the challenge, it was still a memorable and relaxing activity. Besides that, it was also an engaging activity where I managed to mingle around and make new friends especially from other faculties.”

Participants squeezing water from a sponge into the bottle.

Participants squeezing water from a sponge into the bottle.

Participants spattering handfuls of coloured powder and drenching each other in water.

Participants spattering handfuls of coloured powder and drenching each other in water.

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