Holi Hai! NYC Bhangra

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Holi was a lovely cultural experience. NYC Bhangra and Time Warner Cable put on a great party at the Dag Hammarskjold Park on 47th. There were hundreds of people there. I was there from the very beginning when they first began coloring, and DJ Ricky was setting up while the dancers practiced.

It was a nice day. Cloudy, but in the fifties which is more than we can ask for at this point because it has been so cold. Finally, some spring-ish weather.

They had tables with Henna, face painting, food and colors (of course). Very sweet young women would walk by with plates of colors and swipe your cheeks. As more people arrived, however, colors went flying in the air. Some people climbed trees, some were on others’ shoulders once the music started. They did a Bhangra dancing lesson; the DJ played some Bollywood favs like Om Shanti Om, Mashallah, etc. People were pumped. It was great because there was no alcohol, and it was a family environment. Little kids with painted faces were clapping on their parents shoulders and sprinkling color onto those below.

I ended up with blue, turquoise, green, yellow, pink, purple, orange and red in my hair. My part was mostly pink and orange. Somehow, my collar bone and chest ended up green. How that happened is still a mystery.

I met some really nice people, and everything was very well done. Monty, the host, was hilarious.
The lines for food were so long they eventually ran out of khanna. There were so many people there that there wasn’t much space for dance, but everything is possible, believe me. They did make an effort to make sure colors were only sprinkled on people and not the park floor (because they would be cleaning up), and everyone was very respectful when it came to putting colors on others–so, it was a great day.

I missed Prateek who was unable to make it, but there is always next year (grin). Maybe, next year it will be warmer. It is the perfect festivity for white t-shirt and white shorts.

I had a fab time. I always end up explaining to people that I am not Indian when they ask me what city my family is from. When I tell them I am not Hindustani, they look at my suspiciously, not believing me and still prodding, insisting my grandfather is Indian, and I am not telling.

Hahaha. Always a funny moment. I shrug. Suit yourself. I always tell the truth, but in the end, perhaps the heart speaks louder than words. πŸ˜‰
Enjoy the pics.

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