Sun 29 Mar 2009
So… there are many fun Indian traditions and holidays…. and I’ve gotten to do none of them. Zilch. None. Never.
For some reason, as a child we skipped all the fun Indian activities and holidays. It was probably for a lot of reasons, but fundamentally maybe there just weren’t enough Indians around in North Carolina 30 years ago? Sort of a cultural critical mass problem?
Anyway, here in the Yay! Area, we don’t have that problem. And thus, every year, the kids at Stanford do a Holi celebration. Holi is the Indian festival of colors & I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do it. I finally made it down this year…..
It was MUCH fun. Maybe 1000 people running up to complete strangers and throwing, rubbing, slapping colored powder in their faces, and hair and generally blasting each other with it. Super good natured – super messy. And there was something kinda cool about having people run up to each other and attacking each others heads and faces in a friendly way. It is such a personal space kinda taboo (here in the U.S. at least) that there is a small intimate note of mischievous human to human liberation in every powder attack.
And then there was the joy of abusing sweet, good-natured Aparna (see pics above – but really check the full set!)
As an aside, it seems that my life has become a tad more Indo-centric over the last few years, what with the Bollywood movies, the awesome Non-Stop Bhangra dance parties and the incursion of more fun Indians in my social scene (especially my rockstar-goofball adopted little sister, Palak,) and I’ve had to say it has been fun. I’m still clearly a different type of animal than most of them (you should see how sparkly pants go over in a crowd of South Bay software engineers or Marina MBA-Indians ) but I like it like that.
Anyway, Holi: Messy as hell. Lots of Indians. Colored powder everywhere. Big fun. Woot!
.ps Big thanks to my crew for making it sooo great: Palak, Bob, Aparna, Lisa, Rohan & Samina ((waah – no good pix of you guys!). And bigger thanks to the fine folks at the Asha Foundation for putting it on & for working on education in India.