While for me this weekend is Easter (Happy Easter everyone) for the people in India this weekend is Holi, a festival to celebrate the coming of spring. Holi is celebrated most visibly through colored powder or water which is thrown at or rubbed on anyone you meet. When I started to see the bags of colored powder show up in the stores, I thought it must be dye for easter eggs, momentarily forgetting that most people here wouldn't celebrate Easter. I finally got the entire scoop on the holiday when I was warned by a local co-worker to stay in Friday afternoon/evening and the rest of the weekend as the kids and young at heart love Holi-ing naive foreigners.
I didn't know if I'd get to experience the holiday as boss arrived yesterday along with his wife, and I assumed it would be a mostly working weekend. Luckily they were up for at least risking a walk outside to see what we'd find. We all put old or dark clothes on and agreed to meet at a local coffee shop. I headed out and soon was surrounded by 8 teenage boys who left me quite green (and felt up by one of them - they were a bit high as one of the main Holi treats/drinks has a cannabis like herb in it) luckily I wasn't left with a strategic handprint, but he did try. I arrived at the coffee shop to see my boss and his wife much more colorful than me, turns out they'd stumbled into a local who took them to the neighborhood celebration. Once L, the last co-worker in town joined us (still color free, how he did that I'll never know) we set off for the celebration. It reminded me a bit of a fourth of July BBQ, but with people who were a lot happier/crazy/stoned than you would see in good old Aurora. L finally got a bit of color, we enjoyed a drink (just diet coke for me, mom, I swear) and watched the celebration for awhile.
After the party we grabbed lunch (at a new Indian place I hadn't tried yet - yum!) Then headed home, we nearly made it home safely, but a car full of crazy teenagers drove by and EGGED my bosses wife! They somehow missed me thankfully.
Now I'm home trying to clean up - but from the looks of things, I'm going to be a bit green around the edges for a few days. Here are a few photos so you can share in the adventure:
Saturday, March 22, 2008