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Published: March 27th 2013
Holi Holi Hey!
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
There is a significant population of Indians in the Philippines, so it's quite surprising that aside from Indian restaurants that have sprouted all over Metro Manila, Indian culture has yet to gain the same following as, say, the Japanese. All that may be set to change with the first ever celebration of the Holi Festival, India's festival of colors, in the Philippines. The event, held on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, celebrates the arrival of spring.
I went with a couple of friends back in college to the fair, which started at 11 in the morning, and after paying a hundred pesos for our tickets, our faces were smeared with colored powder. A couple of food stalls were on site to serve Indian foods, and I had chicken biryani and a vegetable samosa. A DJ started playing Indian-themed music, to which revelers danced, unmindful of nationality, gender and age. As one of the organizers said, "Today we are not Indians, we are not Filipinos. We are one!"
At quarter to one, participants started throwing colored powder called gulal to formally start the festival. The iconic action symbolizes "unity, freedom and the colors of life."
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