Welcome to the world of Holi festival abroad – without colors!

The Holi day in India; the festival of colors! Dry colors , wet colors, sticky colors, shiny colors, or just plain water if you run out of the colors – everything is a fair game. Friends, foes, families, strangers – everybody is a fair target. No one minds, or to be politically correct, no one is supposed to mind, even if their all dressy outdoor wear is smudged with colors. No one is supposed to hold a grudge if their best dress gets messed up from the Holi colors. Why? Because it is Holi, the festival of colors – no other explanation is needed. A rainbow of colors is an expected scene – almost everywhere.

If you live in India or if you grew up there, we all know, you can go crazy with the colors if you want to. The day itself demands you to be colorful – inside and out.

Just like in India, the Indian communities abroad – all around the world, celebrate the Holi festival. However, there is a often one big difference in the celebrations – the absence of the colors (or very few colors – just as a symbol). Plain and simple – it is not as colorful!

In the overseas celebrations, the scene is not quite the same as in India. In many countries, it is just like any other normal day. You can celebrate the festival within the walls of your own home, or in your own backyard, or with some desi friends if you are lucky to find those who understand the Holi spirits. That’s about it. Your choices and your enthusiasm are both limited. Even within Indian circles overseas, very few bothers to celebrate Holi now-a-days! At least, not like we used to – in India. Many westernized Indian kids want to enjoy it in their won way – from a distance, as long as the colors don’t touch them. Why would you want to look ridiculous and messy in the middle of the day! They wonder.

And living abroad, if you decide to venture outdoor with a bucket full of colors, a word of caution you may hear from your mother or elders – “Do not throw the color at anybody, other than your friends who understand the festival.” After all, the parents don’t want a cop knocking on the door, complaining about the reckless behavior of their kids.

So, how do we celebrate Holi abroad? The food and drinks have become a common substitute for most of the overseas festivities, including Holi. Instead of outdoor playful celebration of colors, we celebrate Holi with sweets, snacks and drinks. It is no surprise that food has become a ‘cure all’ or ‘comfort’ for everything that is missing in our lives. For the Holi festival, the food replaces the colors. Go figure the logic!

We all celebrate Holi – all around the world. In India, it is a free season of colors. However, living abroad – not so much. Most of the times, we share our festive feelings by sharing treats, sweets and drinks only.

So, while you relish that jalebi or rasgullaa, don’t forget to say: Happy Holi! Because, sometimes, when living overseas, the words replace the actions!

So, umm…Happy Holi!! 🙂

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2 Replies to “Welcome to the world of Holi festival abroad – without colors!”

  1. HI Indians Abroad , Wish you and your family a very happy Holi 🙂 ! Now I am getting to know how you must have celebrated holi there.

    Well, as far as I am concerned , I keep myself aways from both colors and water ! I only apply a pinch of colour with care on the other person’s face and expect similar reciprocation. No water Of course. his year some more aware people are also talking of playing a “dry” holi.

    Provided it gets played with decency, it’s a sweet festival.

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