The University of Pennsylvania Hindu Student Council has been named “chapter of the year” by the National Hindu Student Council.
The Penn HSC chapter is recognized for excellence in campus ministry to and with the University’s Hindu population.
“We’re excited that we had a good year and we’re growing and becoming better known on campus and collaborating with different groups on campus about what we do,” says Neel Koyawala, a rising junior and HSC co-chair.
During the school year, the group holds many events to celebrate their heritage and religion. At the Navratri Garba celebration last fall, nearly 250 people attended a Houston Hall event held in honor of the Hindu Mother Goddess Durga. For Hindu/Jain Awareness Week in the spring, the events included the Holi Festival celebration , turning College Green multi-colored for the Hindu festival of colors. Led by the HSC and the class boards, students tossed bright, vibrant colored powders at each other to mark the beginning of the spring season and to say farewell to winter. The celebration included food and music with encouragement to enjoy nature’s abundant spring colors.
"It’s a good way to unite the campus and it was nice to have one of our cultural and religious traditions be celebrated by more people,” Koyawala says.
Started in 1999 by several student leaders, the group now has 29 members.