Holi is a major holiday here in South Asia and if you have ever watched any Bollywood movie then you have definitely seen a scene of a Holi celebration. It is a holiday to welcome the Spring and to say goodbye to the Winter. It is first and foremost a day for every single person in the country to act like a child. The squirt guns were brought out and all of the brightest colors were bought and everyone put on their old clothes knowing that by noon they would be covered in color.
We were a little worried as a team because we didn't know who we were going to celebrate this huge holiday with but our apartment complex told us that they would be celebrating together and that we were welcome to come! So we got dressed then covered our bodies in coconut oil so the colored powder would not soak into our skin and hair and dye us for weeks and went down stairs. Again we were worried as we went down stairs because we thought our neighbors would treat us different than the other neighbors, we were worried no one would throw colors on us and we just thought people might be timid. We immediately realized these fears were ridiculous.
The second we stepped outside we were covered from head to toe in colored powder and water. We were shot with water guns, we had whole buckets of colored water dumped on us and everyone was walking up to us and wishing us a happy Holi as they smeared color on us. There was one person who really loved the color silver so he made a thick pace from his silver powder and through out the entire day would come up and cover our faces in the silver powder. So here we were thinking we might get some color and thinking we were still going to look semi-decent but by the end we look like tin men or aliens. It was ridiculous and so so great. We covered each other in color and water for most of the afternoon then had a dance party and spent a long time getting the color off of us.
When I began to think about how great this day was I couldn't stop smiling. I just loved everything about the holiday and I didn't know if it was because of feeling like a kid or dancing with my roommates but then I realized it was because for the first time in six months we weren't standing out as the white foreigners. I could barely tell my teammates apart from the other neighbors and it was SO GREAT. We weren't the Americans, we just all the same people running around our apartment complex acting like kids. And the best thing was that for the first time since being here we weren't different colors, we were all the same, simply colorful.