Holi is a popular festival in countries like Nepal and India. These days the festival has been celebrated in other regions of the world with significant population of Hindus. Holi is a spring festival and also known as festival of colors and the festival of love as well. It is also getting popular with non Hindus in many parts of the world.
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival with its cultural rituals. Most of us are well known about “Holika” and the story of Hiranyakashipu and his son Prahlada. But I was unware of another story related with celebrating Holi. The Holi Festival is the festival of colors. The legend of Holi is that the colorful Hindu God, Lord Krishna was jealous that Radha had a fair complexion. Krishna complained to his mother about this and she said to apply color to Radha’s face and change the complexion according to his choice. The game became so popular that it turned into a tradition; and later, a festival.
The festival has many meanings, the first of which is a celebration of the beginning of spring – it is an explosion of color and official farewell to winter; a celebration of good over evil. To celebrate, people light bonfires, dance in the streets and throw colored powder in the air, resulting in truly breathtaking moments.
But Holi is not always the festival of colors with love and affection as it seems to be. It has its darker side as well and it is also very dirty. The vibration of Holi starts before a month than its actually dated. Young boys are almost ready in each streets, corners, junctions and roads to throw water balloon (especially known as Lola in Nepal) to throw with force at girls and women. They mostly target toward hitting girls on their sensitive areas. I do enjoy Holi only with friends and family. But I strictly say “No” to the strangers who tend to wet me with dirty water on the way to my college and office even when Holi is not yet started. As it is said there are always a few people who will grumble and groan when there is celebration. During this particular festival young girls and women are more prone to Violence against them. The very Hindi Slogan “Bura na mano Holi Hai” has created a very wrong notion in public and has made Holi one of the most hated festivals. This Slogan has acted as license and as the right for men to do any wrong thing without caring about law, order and discomfort caused to others.
You can not be sure for where the people target on your body parts to hit with water balloons and colors. Here is a video. You will be much clear with this one. It is even more worse when people drink alcoholic beverages like bhaag in the name of Lard Shiva and then do all the wrong things. Every year it is quite disappointment to see news reports with stories of people misbehaving with young girls and women in the name of Holi. Dirty water is another story and color poisoning. This shows how dangerous can be Holi if appropriate care is not taken.
Inappropriate behavior with girls is another problem during Holi. Parents need to teach boys of all ages about respecting girls. Respect towards women should not be forgotten during Holi or any other festivals, so that everyone could enjoy the Holi with fullest.
Therefore this year I and my friends joined an event entitled “The Color Run” saying Holi with purpose. This event was organized one day before Holi which this year was on 16th March, 2014. The event was friendly with no alcohol and dirty water. It was all about enjoying the moments with biodegradable colors and cool dance moves and definitely 4.5K run around Kathmandu city. Also Me and My friends added a most important notion to Holi Festival “Holi without any violence against girls”. I posted pictures after the event and some commented what is the relation between run and violence? Are you running of violence? Well being a girl which I love to, want to run away from violence in the name of festival but we are keeping our voice through The color Run to end any kind of violence against girls (us).