Paar is a cheap version of the word paard - they could not afford to buy the d on the end of paar.
i get mixed up with paar (purple) paard (horse) and paar (a few) its annoying! >.<
"Paars" as in "Persia", where the dyes came from. Etymology is not only fascinating, but also a great aid to remember words :)
So "Ik houd niet van paars" doesn't mean "I don't love purple" but "I don't like purple" is a good answer? If they want "I don't like purple" as an answer then why don't you get "Ik vind paars niet leuk" instead? This is the second time I've seen this kind of thing.
Houden van is used differently in Dutch and English. When referring to people it's the same, but when referring to things, activities etc. houden van means to like. Indeed ik vind paars niet leuk has the same meaning as ik houd niet van paars, but by using the houden van sentence people will learn the differences in usage between the houden van and to love.