April marks the springtime festival of fertility and harvest, Holi, which is celebrated throughout northern India. Because Holi is a yearly event that includes a large amount of revelry, without the obvious presence of the sacred, it’s become adapted by some odd pockets of people. I even saw a “Festival of Colours Run” race recently: you run a 5 km race and get bombed by coloured powder (immediately after that, I found a blogpost titled, “The color run is the most cultural appropriative shit I’ve ever seen” on the Blog “India is Not a Prop Bag”). What a pity that the organisers and participants of various “Holi Fests” in South Africa didn’t get that memo. Even calling it “Holi Fest” irritates a little—as if it is now commodified nicely into yet another Neohippy Wellingtons meets muddyshit-and-rapedrugs-in-drinks music festival.
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