Reds, blues, greens, pinks. Forms of powder. Every color of the rainbow is thrown in the air by hands ready to interlock with one another regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or religion.

 

One of the beautiful parts about mankind or (womankind) is culture. No matter where in the globe one can visit, that destination will carry a culture of some form, a way of life. For us humans, we like to organize and be neat. But when it comes to culture, there’s nothing holding us back from sharing and intermingling our cultures to create a chaotically beautiful celebration of life. These bursts of love and shared appreciation can be seen more vibrantly in present day, where social media connects people across oceans and seas.

 

There is a wonderful holiday called Holi that originates from India. It welcomes the season of spring through dancing, feasts, and the decoration of family, friends, and strangers with colorful powders. These colors represent the colors of spring flowers and goodness. If watched from a bird’s eye point of view, the festival of Holi is a gathering of masses celebrating together while being surrounded by bursts of rich colorful powders. Familiar and unfamiliar faces greet each other, share smiles, and wish each other good luck and happiness for the new season and rest of the year. For hundreds of years, it has been a part of the Indian culture. Today in modern day, it’s found across the world, especially in New York City—the hub of cultural intermingling.

 

Though Holi was celebrated on March 24th, there are festivals for it that take place days and months later. A recent celebration happened in April. The minute a person entered this festival of colors, she was greeted with smiles. A cup was given with a unique colored powder and the celebrator danced through the crowds, throwing it in the air and showering others with it. Although the festival was beautiful, a significantly amazing part of it was the universality. There were not only Indian goers. Different faces were draped in the Holi powders, some of countries on the other side of the world! Everyone surrounded a stage where performances were taking place. Dancers gracefully moved across the floor, people swayed to music. The acts shifted every turn, one moment there was an Indian dance celebrating Bollywood, the next there was a group of lovely women and men performing a flamenco dance, originating from the Spanish culture. Traces of traditional African dance were found in every act, especially the polycentric aspect of it, where different areas of the body move uniquely. As the crowd cheered and laughed together, it could be seen that every person belonged to a special culture. The way we dressed, we talked, we danced. We all stood out. But it could also be seen in this moment, when everyone was dancing and reveling in the beauty of spring’s colors, the festival of Holi taking on new importance:

Not only was it the celebration of spring, it became the celebration of different cultures, the celebration of the grander human culture—a vibrant web of intermingling ways of life.

About The Author

Paramjot Kaur
Youth Ambassador

To write is to paint thoughts into existence. Words are precious, containing the ability to take a reader to worlds that exist in our dreams. I seek to weave positivity into my storytelling. Currently an undergraduate student, I charter the ocean of academics, learning in school and from the outside world-- both have so much to teach me.

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