From this issue, we begin carrying reader-contributed content, in an effort to encourage our Diaspora to participate in making this platform a more inclusive and participative one. This time round, we carry a piece by Indian-American Anu Jain, an artist, accountant and activist based out of Long Island, NY. She writes about how the Diaspora community is given to celebrating Holi, the festival of colours that welcomes spring …
In the United States, social and cultural organisations formed by Indians celebrate most Indian festivals including Holi, the festival of colors, which personifies a celebration of the victory of good over evil, and the represents love, friendship, and brotherhood. Here in our community, a large number of Hindus welcome people from other communities and get together to celebrate festivals in temples or sometimes in private venues.
I live in New York and here people of all cultures get together on the streets for huge Holi celebrations. People are seen having fun in these “Parades” as they play with dry colours in the midst of the spectacle. There is so much celebration here that it makes us feel we are in India and New York is an adjunct of mother India.
Many families host private parties to celebrate this colorful festival and teach children values of Indian culture. Our people generally try to preserve close relations with to our motherland and her rich Sanskriti (culture) as much as possible. Despite the rough and tumble of daily life and busy schedules we invite friends and family to our home, to play Holi with colours and dance to festival music. Every family brings some homemade traditional sweets as well to keep the festival spirits alive. These social, cultural and festival meets help the new generation to identify themselves with their cultural roots and they learn to understand the significance of celebrating festivals. Great enthusiasm for Holi can be seen everywhere during this time of the year.