Travel. Books. Expat Living.

Month: March 2015

Lee Kuan Yew: The Death of An Icon

Lee Kuan Yew: The Death of An Icon

Image via PhotoPin Today, after a week of mourning, Lee Kuan Yew will be laid to rest in a private cremation ceremony in Singapore. Strangely, the island-city has seen heavy rains all day, perhaps a fitting tribute from the heavens for the death of the […]

Short & Sweet: 2 Days in Saigon

Short & Sweet: 2 Days in Saigon

Downtown Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) A major perk of living in Singapore is how strategically it’s located. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and many other countries are within easy reach – some just a couple of hours away by plane. This is why extensive travel for […]

Put the ‘Holi’ in Holiday: Celebrating Holi in Singapore

Put the ‘Holi’ in Holiday: Celebrating Holi in Singapore

holiPhoto via PhotoPin

Holi, otherwise known as the Festival of Colors, is one of India’s most popular holidays. You can find Holi celebrations going on pretty much everywhere, whether you’re in the U.S. or in Asia. Surprisingly, despite this celebration’s widespread reach, I have never before had the chance to take part in it (or ‘play Holi’ as Indians put it). Until this year, of course!

templeSri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, Singapore

Indians may only make up around 10% of Singapore’s population, but the culture is a huge deal here with plenty of Indian food, clothes, and temples to be found, not to mention a thriving Little India scene. Annual Holi celebrations take place in several locations across Singapore, whether at the ECP (East Coast Park) or at Sentosa. This year, the ECP tickets sold out rather quickly, and so I headed out to Azzura Beach Club at Sentosa to join in on the festivities.

Arriving on the scene, $15 dollar tickets got each of us a free packet Holi powder which apparently we were supposed to smear on each other vigorously. The party was to start at 10am and last until 4pm, and by the time I arrived at noon it was well underway. Bollywood music was blaring, employees were spraying attendees with hoses and water guns, and people were playing Holi with as much energy as they could.

holi2Getting the Holi groove on! 

Although this may be a sweeping statement, I’ve always found Indian culture in Singapore to be warm, welcoming, and above all playful. Partying with Indians is the bomb because they know how to have fun. Which is why the Holi party was so great. Within five minutes of arriving, I had several strangers paint powder on me and wish me Happy Holi while another took it upon himself to fling me in the pool. It was wonderful, colorful, very wet chaos.

holi3White t-shirt = Holi souvenir! 

So what to expect for the uninitiated? Well, leave your valuables at home, wear clothes that you don’t care too much about (Holi attire seems to be white t-shirts), and expect to come away various shades of orange, red, green, purple, pink, etc. Yes, even your skin and hair will retain the color for a while after, so some serious scrubbing may be necessary in the aftermath. Most of all though, let go. Have fun, prank strangers, let loose, and dance the day away in a gorgeous array of colors!

Happy Belated Holi!