[PHOTOS] A Photojournalist Shares His Beautiful Account Of Holi And How It Unites Us All
When colours bring us together...
Born unique as different individuals, each one of us is different.
We copy different skills, ideas and a way of life from those who have lived their lives doing the same thing over and over again, from our parents to our friends to teachers.
Our lives are coloured with varied experiences from a very young age, in school, our first job, first love or our children. As this process grows we tend to forget who we really are, what is my own 'colour'?
Holi, a festival that uses colours to showcase the start of the spring festival, a festival that represents love; a festival of togetherness that somehow explains life a little bit more with colours.
It's an ancient festival of the Hindus around South East Asia, mainly celebrated in India and Nepal. It's celebrated all around the world by the people of Indian origins together with non–Hindus too.
And on this day, it doesn't matter what 'colour' you are!
For this one day you come together with family, with friends, meeting strangers to celebrate with many different colours, to celebrate love, to celebrate life. For this one day is called Holi.
A simple way of life, a simple idea of colour that brings humans together. Forgetting backgrounds, forgetting borders and just remembering 'colour'.
In Malaysia, on 21 March this event was organised by a youth group called SDS Youth. This annual event is held at the Shree Lakhsmi Narayan Temple in Kuala Lumpur, attended by a crowd of about 3000 visitors, mainly local Malaysians and those from all around the world. The event was self funded by the SDS Youth and from donors, friends of the community and personal friends.
The festival started at about 11am with the crowd lining up from 8am onwards waiting to get into the temple grounds, cheering on the loud Bollywood music from the DJ's when the gates were finally opened. The basic white tees quickly turning into different colours of green, red, blue and yellow... it was a festival of life that brought colours, music, water and dance together that went on till 3pm.
A day you end by looking like everyone else, with similar colours, wet, tired, sun burned and happy.
Who is SDS Youth?
It's a sub committee of the Sanatan Dharam Sabha association who represent the North Indian community in Malaysia. This youth group actively organises cultural events, religious activities, workshops and youth camps.
Recently 50 youth members went on the Flood Relief Expedition and donated over RM250,000 of relief aid necessities to over 200 families and children effected by the East Coast Floods here.
The youth of today are capable of doing anything they wish to. Anything they feel happy with or have a passion for. The SDS Youth represents this to us. They are just a group of young individuals that came together to achieve a task when it's done with the right reasons, for life and love.
The reality of it is that they live among all of us. They are no different from you and I, they grew up in this society that teaches you to be the same as the rest or to puts fear in our lives about our present or future.
This group of youth managed to put together an event that brought thousands of us in one space, to celebrate happiness and love with simple colours.
An event that become the biggest celebration of colours in Malaysia. It was not done by any corporation or company, it was not created by the team of experts, it was simply an idea of the youth.
I am proud to know some of the group members in SDS Youth as I can call them my friends. These friends are the reason why we could have this day as a moment to remember in our lives today. This friends were the reason we could dance, cheer and play with colours with people around the world.
A moment that you will recall over and over again in your conversations, you will smile when you see your images in an album or videos from friends. This moment was gifted to you by the youth.
So be the youth that can come together from different 'colours' to make a single day, a day you will always remember. Forget borders, forget backgrounds, just find your 'colour' and share it with the world. Make this day of colours to be everyday for you.