Tuesday, April 12, 2011

India, the land of Color

sorry the pic is blurry it's the only one we have :/

photo taken by Emily
I'm back again for day number 2 of our trip! On Saturday night the family told us that we would be going to church Sunday evening after Holi Festival was over. It was too dangerous to be caught anywhere in the city during the midst of the celebration.   People flooded the streets in a city wide water/color fight.   There was colored flour that would float down from balconies after a flood of water.  We enjoyed watching all the festivities from the safety of our balcony!  The neighbors loved posing for pictures and at one point they called Emily down and PROMISED they wouldn't put color on her.  They greeted her and gave her the special drink that they drink on this day.  And even though they didn't COVER her in color they did put some on her forehead.  At one point when we were standing on the balcony a group of guys gathered in the ally and we quickly asked, "what are they doing?".  It looked as though they had firecrackers and they were going to set them off.  WELL to our surprise it wasn't firecrackers. They were tubes filled with colored smoke and when they were lit colored smoke went every where!  Floating down the ally and up past the balcony into the, already polluted, New Delhi sky.  It smelled the same way sparklers smell on the Fourth Of July.   This celebration represents India's colors to me.  The flowers in all the parks, the colorful scarves and saris of the women blowing in the breeze, and the colorful characters of the people I have grown to love.
photo taken by Emily

Asa was still full of questions on day # 2 and at this point the family had given him the nickname, Question Mark.  It's good to ask questions though.... sometimes you are able to find out interesting facts.  In the case of Holi I really felt like none of our questions were answered.  

We asked a number of different people what they were celebrating and we seemed to get different answers every time.  The lady who owned the hotel we were staying in told us that they were celebrating all the differences around them and how on this one day everyone could come together and be friends. Another person said they were remembering this woman who needed to burn her dead son, but the people who kept the fire wouldn't let her have a flame.  She decided to steal some of the fire and in the process she caught her skirt on fire and died with her son.  AND yet another person said they were sacrificing to the god of destruction.   SO in the end of the day we still didn't know what the country was celebrating or worshiping on that day.   All the celebrating something no one seemed 100% sure of really got me thinking just now. I'm wondering if there are things we celebrate that have been passed down generation upon generation, but the true reason of the celebration has somehow been lost in the passing of time.  Easter is right around the corner, stores all filled with candy bunnies and Easter grass all ready for baskets.  We dye eggs and tell our children that the Easter bunny will be coming... BUT I wonder how many Americans, if asked, would know the reason for the actual celebration of Easter. Do you know?  Just some food for thought....

photo taken by Emily


Keep Your Lid On said...

Holi really intrigued me when I was researching it. So odd, that like many of our traditions, so many had different takes on to why they were celebrating. Makes us realize how individualized we can be but yet come together to celebrate. I wish we could celebrate more.
Could you have joined in the festivities if you wanted to?
LOVE the Question Mark name!

muppy said...

wow this looks like an awesome experience!

Butter said...

Great post. What a blessing to be able to travel like you do. I love your stories and can't wait to read more. I would have loved to have been there to experience it all and to see all of the color!

Sarah said...

Whoa I love all the colors! It looks like such a vibrant place. Also loved the connection to tradition and Easter. And as far as Asa's new name goes... I think that one's gonna stick ;)

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