Friday, 30 March 2012

Holi festival in Dunedin

Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus and it is also known as Festival of Colours. The main day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, is celebrated by people throwing scented powder and perfume at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). After doing holika dahan prayers are said and praise is offered. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. One of Holi’s biggest customs is the loosening strictness of social structures, which normally include age, gender, status, and caste. Holi closes the wide gaps between social classes and brings Hindus together. Together, the rich and poor, women and men, enjoy each other’s presence on this joyous day. Additionally, Holi lowers (but does not remove completely) the strictness of social norms. No one expects polite behavior; as a result, the atmosphere is filled with excitement, fun and joy. (I lifted this off Wikipedia. My bad. Sorry. Just thought some people might like to have a proper introduction of this festival).

I was lucky enough to be a part of the Holi celebration hosted by the Indian Students' Association (ISA) at the University of Otago. The coloured powders were provided by the committee and only cost $3 for 2 packets which was pretty good I reckon. It was a good event that bonded people of different races and nationalities together. Everyone mingled easily with other people throughout the event and overall, I can see that many people had heaps of fun (despite being showered in cold water on a really cold day).

Here are some pictures of the colourful happy faces I captured that day.

Interestingly, this is the only picture on my camera with me in it. Haha. I had heaps of fun and good job to the ISA committee members for making this a success.

Packets of coloured powders available that day. There was a huge selection of colours and that definitely brighten up my day.

Happily powdered. ^^

Everyone looked so happy and people were just chasing down one another. All the laughter in the air was definitely a good way to get endorphine pumping in the body.

Gotcha. ^^

Yup, she's indicating to me that she was having so much fun. ^^

More happy faces around the event.

In a way, the pattern of the colours looks synchronised between the four of them. Hmm.

He just got hit by a powder bomb. Haha.

Powders colouring the atmosphere. Loved it.

Yup, they sure were having fun.

It's just amazing to have such happy faces at the event.

And here's some more happy faces.

Bridging gender and nationality. Cheers.

Well, that was all the pictures I took before I jumped into action and had my go at the people who were showering me with all the powders while photographing. Haha. Anyway, I had lots of fun and from the pictures, many people had lots of fun and when we walked home from the event, we were the centre of attraction. Haha. Luckily, nobody can recognise us covered in all the colours. Haha.



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