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Expat Indians mark Holi, festival of color
Latest Updated by 2006-03-20 11:33:02


Members of Shenzhen's Indian community celebrate Holi, the annual spring festival of colors, in Xiaomeisha Beach yesterday. More than 100 Indians took part in the event, the first time the festival has been celebrated in Shenzhen.


SPLATTERING colored powder on each other and exchanging sweets among themselves, about 100 Indians living in Shenzhen celebrated the festival of Holi at Xiaomeisha beach resort yesterday (Mar 19).

Holi is an annual, predominantly Hindu spring festival, which takes place over two days in March or early April, according to the Hindu calendar. It is also known as the festival of colors as people throw colors at each other during Holi.

This year, Holi fell on March 15, but the local Indian community decided to celebrate it Sunday so that many could join in. This was also the first time that Indians in the city celebrated the festival.

At present, Shenzhen is home to more than 200 Indian families, many of whom have decided to settle here.

"We really consider Shenzhen as our second home," said Vinu Somaya, who has been living in the city for four years and enjoys the life here. "I have moved the whole family to Shenzhen, including my parents. We live and work here. The city is really my home."

With the growth of the Indian population in Shenzhen, the community decided to start celebrating its own festivals. Minni Ahuja, an organizer of yesterday's gathering, said: "We wanted to offer Indian people in Shenzhen an opportunity to feel more at home."

"It's just a happy festival. People are supposed to give up bitter feelings and forgive enemies on the day," said Muskan Somaya, wife of Vinu Somaya.

Besides throwing colors, people also splash water on each other. Some revelers even threw others into a water tank. "People celebrating the festival should be colored and wet," they said.

The exotic scene of celebration attracted many Chinese tourists visiting the beach and many were tempted to participate.

Luo Zhongying, a middle-aged woman, said: "It's fun to have your face and hair colored. Although I don't know about their custom, I am really happy seeing them enjoy themselves whole-heartedly."

Editor: Wing

By:Alfred Zhang Source:Szdaily web edition
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