Hello U.S.A. | Holi Hai! It’s Holi!

It seems that the winter cloud has finally dissipated, leaving behind nice, warm weather for us to bask in. People are tanning outside and Frisbees and footballs, objects that haven’t been seen for months, came out of hibernation. It was nice to finally realize that there is grass on the hill, and the lack of Narnia-esque white snow was a pleasant sight.

For international students however, the current weather creates more of an inconvenience when it comes to dressing. When it is sunny, it is quite warm, so it makes sense to shed that winter jacket (I have still yet to buy one appropriate for spring). But when walking in the shade, it is quite windy, so it makes sense to wear the jacket again. (It also doesn’t help that my two-meter long hair doesn’t suit well to the windy environment – it looks like my hair is strangling my neck). This shuffling between wearing and not wearing my jacket has been incredibly exhausting, to the point where I now choose to simply suffer the cold wind of the spring. With the jacket, gloves, scarves, mufflers, and layers all gone, I actually miss the extra weight carried with me outside to keep me warm. It was nice experiencing snow for the first time and dressing up in the whole shebang of winter gear. But I’m not letting go of boots anytime soon.

Thus, the weather was perfect for the Holi celebration this past Sunday April 13. Imagine running around the lawn in front of Carmichael (sad confession: I still can’t differentiate between the Prez Lawn, Res Quad, or whatever other names there are of the lawns or fields or hills at Tufts) and spraying colours onto whatever human contact you manage to find whilst in the process of being slapped with colour yourself.  It sounds painful, but it was incredibly fun. I’ve never played Holi before, to the surprise of many, so it was nice to see how crazy (or, as I’m told, tame in comparison with the celebration in India) people are when it comes to running around after one another to spray water or colour. I was especially happy that Bollywood music was being blasted, and it just added to the hype of the event.

But this Holi celebration also made me feel a little homesick. It is actually around this time that Songkran, the festival of water, is being celebrated back home. It is Thailand’s New Year celebration, and one way to celebrate Songkran is by throwing water upon others. People get on the side of the streets with containers of water or water guns, and it’s one messy mass of great fun. Soda drinks are given out for free along with Thai desserts, and people even get on pick-up trucks to splash water on people as they drive along. I was secretly hoping someone would dump a bucket of water on my head, which was essentially happening during Holi, but it wouldn’t quite feel the same. But hey, that is what Skype is for!