Earlier was the big festival of color known as Holi!! Holi is a celebration rooted in Hinduism but honestly it has become very mainstream and is celebrated widely all over the country. In some places (especially cities that have big ties to Krishna) the celebration goes on for something like 16 days but here it has two main days: The first is when people throw color on each other and the next day is usually more 'natural' substances like mud and, well, other sorts of waste. Last year I didn't have a very good experience on Holi. In fact, it was probably the single worst experience I have ever had here. Looking back on that blog entry, I definitely sugar coated the experience for the sake of remaining positive but over time it has sunk in that my friends and I were very lucky nothing worse happened to us, and I can't even describe how frustrating/difficult Holi was last year. This year my dad was in town for the celebration so I was determined to learn from my mistakes and make it a good, positive experience for all!
We started by visiting the house of three girls whom I work with, Sharon had mentioned that she loves playing Holi but didn't have anyone to play with so dad and I offered to come over in the morning! I am so glad we did because it was so fun. On the scooter on the way to their flat we got some color thrown on us but not in the forceful way it was done the year prior. We then played for a but on the roof of Sharon's house before moving on to stop number 2!
We then moved right along to the apartment complex that I used to live in (I just moved recently) to get my coworkers! On their roof was quite a celebration! It definitely wasn't safe to have out cameras up there because the kids were spraying color and beer was being poured on people (that was the point that dad and I decided to leave.)
After stop 2
We then planned to take a break until the afternoon. We got back to my apartment when I was greeted by my neighbors. Apparently the young daughter had been anxiously waiting my return and had saved some powder specifically for me! She had been very disappointed that I had escaped her in the morning! Between the neighbors and the security guards I got absolutely covered in powder and colored water, it was caked on me and in my hair. The neighbors then asked dad and I to come for lunch (after cleaning up) and of course we obliged!
The last plan of the day was to head to a friend's farmhouse on the bank of the river. It was a rather big gathering but everyone there came by invitation it wasn't open to the public so I wasn't hesitant to go. After last year I had decided I would only play at homes with small groups but I was pretty positive this would be okay and it was! There was music, color, dancing and it was so fun! I got to play color with a lot of friends and was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the night. It was so awesome to be able to share this day with my father, I never would have dreamed of it previously! This year was a complete turn around from the last so I think for now my faith is renewed in Holi!!