Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Frame | Holi |The Widows

Photo © AP / Manish Swarup-All Rights Reserved
Here's another installment of photographs from the Lathmar Holi and Holi festivals in Nandgaon and Vrindavan; the colors of which ought to sate anyone's color appetite for weeks to come. 

This time, these photographs are featured by the always impressive The Frame, the photo blog of The Sacramento Bee. It's quite an extensive gallery of photographs by Manish Swarup, Bikas Das, and Altaf Qadri.

Photo © AP/Manish Swarup-All Rights Reserved

I find the above photograph just hilarious! Even the woman's teeth have been colored by the dye and colored water, while the one next to her has preemptively and judiciously covered her face with a veil.

Photo © Vivek Prakash-All Rights Reserved

However, more important than color is the fact that this year for the first time, the festival of Holi was celebrated by the widows and other abandoned women living in Vrindavan. In a departure from an horrific tradition (in some parts of India) which deems Hindu widows as pariahs, hundreds of widows gathered to observe Holi and to cover each other with flower petals and colored powder.

More of the widows enjoying their first Holi can be seen in WSJ India.

For my own work on the plight of the Vrindavan widows, see White Shadows.