Quick takes editorial: Celebrating a colorful rite of spring

Sharvil Shirwadkar tosses Holi gulal in the air as ABC Stewart students celebrate Holi at the school in Columbus on March 8.

Mike Wolanin | The Republic

The more we learn about the world’s cultures, the more we realize how much we all have in common — particularly the very human need for celebrations that mark the arrival of seasons. Students at ABC Stewart Montessori school in Columbus got such a lesson recently in joyfully marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.

The school serves a diverse community, including students whose families are from India. During Holi, people in India dance in the streets and throw colored powder known as gulal in the air. Students at ABC Stewart read books about Holi, learned about and ate traditional Indian food, and then participated in “our own gulal throwing party,” teacher Whitney King said.

According to National Geographic Kids, Holi is an ancient tradition that marks the end of winter and honors the triumph of good over evil. And as the photos from The Republic’s Mike Wolanin showed, the students (and teachers) had a field day of colorful fun heralding the arrival of spring.

North junior a state poetry champion

“Blest Indiana! In thy soil are found the sure rewards of toil.” – “The Hoosier’s Nest” by John Finley, 1830.

Columbus North junior Sreepadaarchana Munjuluri has reaped the rewards of toil. Earlier this month, she was named Indiana state champion in the annual Poetry Out Loud competition, a national arts education program designed to help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about poetry, literary history and contemporary life.

Munjuluri was one of 14 finalists who competed for the title of state champion. Statewide, more than 1,000 Hoosier students participated in Poetry Out Loud. She received a $200 cash prize and North will receive a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books.

Munjuluri says she believes that communication through various mediums, including poetry, is the key to solving the world’s problems, and is the most beautiful aspect of the human experience.

We congratulate Munjuluri for her remarkable achievement, and we wish her all the best as she prepares to compete for the national title at the Poetry Out Loud national finals May 8-10 in Washington, D.C.

Exhibit Columbus’ youth movement

Exhibit Columbus’ High School Design Team recently presented the broad strokes of the teen gathering space they are envisioning at the west Cummins Inc. parking garage on Washington Street. Like the rest of the Exhibit Columbus installations around town, it will open Aug. 25, but the “Public By Design” unveiling of the rough draft happened recently.

The Republic’s Brian Blair reported the students unveiled their plans before about 350 people, including renowned architects and designers. “And this group from all three local high schools spoke with equal measures of polish and humor about their 64-foot by 53-foot installation known by the Japanese word Machi, signifying a busy downtown area or street,” Blair wrote.

The inventive design aims to contain movable pieces allowing people to customize their own gathering space.

“I consider this a really exciting part of what Exhibit Columbus is,” said Richard McCoy, executive director of The Landmark Columbus Foundation. Indeed it is exciting — for our community and the many students taking part. Learn more at exhibitcolumbus.org/high-school-design-team.