having lived in thailand & usa most of my life (at least what i can remember) there are many functions/events that i've had the chance to experience with a diverse sets of individuals - be it diwali in bangkok with all the other indians in thailand, or thanksgiving in chicago with friends from bangkok... its always been a mix of people who might not all be where they would have seen themselves celebrating said-event.
this time around though, i found myself celebrating holi in november in singapore with lebanese, french, indians, thais, koreans, americans, pakistanis, africans, brits, irish... you name it. the nationalities outnumbered the various colors we had!
one of the best celebrations i've ever experienced given the amateur nature of the setup - i mean it was not amateur in the work put into it, but it was by no means the kind of holi setup you would expect.
a tent in a parking lot, with 4 tables for food, 2 tables with color, 2 tables with drinks and one large speaker plugged into an ipod. oh and a renegade hose lying on the floor, used by anyone that realized it was on.
the clincher for me was receiving this email after a night of celebrations & questions from my non-indian counterparts...
so what is holi? whats the significance?
"We put our best guys on this and the short answer is: Although historically celebrated as a harvest festival, in recent times it is more a celebration of unity – an opportunity to forget all differences and indulge in unadulterated fun. It is typically celebrated in high spirit without any distinction of cast, creed, color, race, status or sex. When everyone is covered in colors and looks the same it brings people closer."