Life, A Celebration: India's Lesser-Known Reasons To Celebrate

Life, A Celebration: India's Lesser-Known Reasons To Celebrate
Narayana Sankar (R)

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Dear Homegrown Reader,


I wouldn’t be surprised if you, like me, have grown out of your ‘we must play Holi’ phase. The incessant usage (read: wastage) of water, the stubborn stains of colours, and the extensive time spent cleaning up somehow does not feel worth it anymore.

This is not to say I won’t celebrate the festival – bring on the gujiyas and the thandaai (or bhaang), with a little smidge of colour across each family member’s cheek, just enough to have the feel of Holi, without the hassle.

Like Holi, many celebrations of festivals across India are incredibly unique. Let’s be honest, Indians adore celebrations of any kind, and each region expresses their tradition and culture through these.

Let’s explore these, shall we?

Hold up, though. Before I begin, it would be a disservice on my part if I didn’t give you more than a couple of ways to incorporate bhaang into your 2022 Holi celebrations. If this is your first try, be careful, because I assure you I will never forget mine (and I wish I could). Thandaai, lassi and pakodas – find food enthusiast Amrita Rana’s simple ways to make all three.

Alright, then. Let’s get stuck into what I promised.

The beauty of Indian regional identity is that even within a certain radius, there may exist thousands of renditions of a single belief or tradition. Each of these, in their own right, stem from a place of staunch credence, whether it be hopeful or hurtful. ‘Celebration’ arrives in various forms, and each of them gives us an equal peek into the communities’ lives.

Unity is a contested topic in India. Our diversity, by way of being our strength, is also our weakness, and it’s a shame. What is meant to bring us together serves as a common ground for division. In Tamil Nadu however, a festival celebrates union and community wholeheartedly and wholesomely, and at this stage of the Indian socio-political environment, we could all use some of this spirit.

India and sports go way back, and to think that the latter is not a form of celebration would be a mistake. We put on our game faces, even if we’re present simply for support, and our competitive spirit somehow does much for bringing people together. Moving beyond sports that make up the entirety of what is broadcast, let’s shine a light on sports across rural India that do not shy away from courage, strategy, and talent.

Before I sign off this fine Thursday and hop on over to my long weekend, I wish you all the happiest Holi from all of us at Homegrown. I hope the positivity of these occasions extend far beyond a single day, and that our ever-enthusiastic essence of ‘Holi hai!’ grants us its presence in our everyday lives.

All the love,

Meghna Mathew

Senior Features Writer

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