It wasn’t the jostling of the train traveling along the tracks that woke me, but rather the lack of movement. That, and the soft crooning of a Bollywood song coming from a radio somewhere in our train car. I was surprised by how well I’d […]
Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the […]
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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!
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.
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.
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!