Indian community observes a colourful Holi Festival
It’s not every day you see the Indian high commissioner to Jamaica running down a young woman to douse her with coloured powder. But this happened on Sunday in the India-Jamaica Friendship Garden at Hope Gardens, St Andrew.
The laughing “victim” of the powdering by Runsung Masakui, an employee of the Institute of Jamaica, would have contemplated no legal action. Similar scenes were happening all around her.
It was the Holi Festival of Colours, after all, an annual celebration of the arrival of Spring by Indian communities around the world. Everybody was shouting, “Happy Holi” as they threw orange, blue and green powder on one another. If you were lucky, children with water guns also sprayed you.
The high commissioner spoke briefly from the large stage, shortly after noon. He welcomed the hundreds of patrons to the event, explaining, “When you throw colours, you’re sharing love, life and happiness”.
After he left it, the stage was intermittently occupied for the next two hours with about two dozen children — pre-teens and teens — divided into six groups. Showing off intricate steps and hand gestures, they danced to live and recorded Indian music. There were also a couple of adult dancers.
In addition to watching the dancers, and often dancing themselves, the colourfully dressed, and mostly colourfully powdered, patrons were able to eat exotic Indian dishes and drink at the many tents scattered around the large field.
Judging by the smiling faces and cheerful remarks, a happy Holi time was had by all.