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UIANE's Annual Holi Celebration

Rakashi Chand

The United India Association of New England held their annual Holi celebration on Sunday, from 12-4pm in Newton MA.

The festival of Holi usually falls in March/April and is celebrated in India with great revelry as people throw colored powder and colored water at one another, accompanied by singing, dancing and visiting friends and family. Known as the Festival of Colors, it is the most vibrant and colorful celebration the world over. In India, people take to the streets for a day-long celebration that includes singing, dancing, party and most importantly, throwing color (or Gulal) onto everyone you meet, using pichkaris (water guns), water balloons and other things. By the end of the day revelers go home adorn in hues of crimson, yellow, blue  and pink from head to toe. It is a beautiful celebration that welcomes Spring. The festival is deeply rooted in history, religion and mythology, with the earliest mention possibly in the 4th century. Holi is a celebration of good over evil, commemorating the defeat of the demon Holika, marked by the bonfires to cleanse away evil on Holika Dahan. The colorful aspect of Holi, or Rangwali Holi or Badi Holi, originates from the legend when the blue God Krishna said to his mother that he was sad that he did not look like his beloved Radha, so his mother suggested applying color to her skin, hence loved ones throw colors on one another. The annual spring festival is celebrated across India and has become more popular across the globe. Color Runs and other Holi inspired events can be found the world over, and there is nothing more fun than pictures of the colorful result of "playing Holi"!

The United India Association welcomed the public to join in the celebration, as this is a cultural celebration that we hope to share with everyone.  Committee members greeted guests with silk floral necklaces or malas.

"Holi is a wonderful festival that everyone can enjoy, from young to old! We want to share this with our neighbors and friends, as it is a communal celebration that brings strangers together from all different walks of life. There is nothing more beautiful than everyone coming together to become colorful!" said Rakashi Chand, President of the United India Association of New England. "We want to share and celebrate the things that can help bring our world together and make it more beautiful and vibrant." 

The afternoon began with a lavish buffet lunch and dancing to Bollywood music. There was a dance performance of traditional Punjabi folk dance by the Hadippa Dance Group and a rendition of the popular Holi song “Rang Barse” was orchestrated by Manish Arora inviting the crowd to sing along. Our guest Emcees for the event were Sivani Jonnalagadda, Aditya Soni, Divya Sharma and Madhurima Agrawal. The huge dance floor gave plenty of opportunity for everyone to execute their best moves! Children had their own “Kiddie Corner” with supervised arts and crafts related to Holi. Once the indoor activities wrapped up, the crowd was escorted outside to "Play Holi". 

It was a beautiful April afternoon to play Holi! A live Dhol accompanied the color-play and keept the crowd dancing. Friends, families and strangers began throwing colorful powder at one another. Some launched full on attacks and covered their loved ones with many different hues. Others ran to hide and avert their color-throwing friends. Still others adorned themselves with as much color as possible and took tons of fun selfies to post online. It was a memorable afternoon full of frivolity and merry making. A happy, but colorful crowd, sadly departed once it was all done, to wash the colors away, until next spring when the vibrant color of Holi will return once more!

The United India Association of New England is a non-profit cultural organization founded in 1984 with the mission to preserve, promote Indian culture and nurture the values of our Indian heritage by planning, developing and executing programs which bring our community together.

A big thank you to the entire United India Association team for creating yet another wonderful event. Thank you to our Committee and Board of Directors: Aditi Soni, Anil Sood, Parvin Khetarpal, Neeta Datta, Priyadarshani Kumar, Gyneshwar Varma, Dolly and Yash Sood, Sonia Sharma, Manisha Chowdhary, Aanch Jain, Rakesh Soni, Veena Kapoor, Sarla Karla, Vikas Selhi, Rekha Palriwala, and our board of Advisors Shobha Khetarpal, Kidar Vaid, Jatinder Sharma, Dolly Raja, Neela Gandhi, Devinder Dutt, Suresh Gidwani, Vijay Selhi, without whom these events would not be possible.

To learn more about the organization and for event details, please visit our website at www.unitedindia.net or contact us at UIANE@unitedIndia.net.

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