Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Every Day a Holi-Day

Belfast is becoming a cosmopolitan city. The influx of new people groups has led to a rise in the number of community festivals. Indeed, rather than just orange and green, the city explodes in a rainbow of colours for lots of feasts and festivals.

At the weekend, there was the celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi (the Festival of Colours) at the Kings Hall. Icedcoffee had a report and lots of pictures, but it was the description of the festival that caught my attention:

In most areas, Holi lasts about two days. One of Holi’s biggest customs is the loosening strictness of social structures, which normally include age, sex, status, and caste. Holi closes the wide gaps between social classes and brings Hindus together. Together, the rich and poor, women and men, enjoy each other’s presence on this joyous day. Additionally, Holi lowers the strictness of social norms. No one expects polite behavior; as a result, the atmosphere is filled with excitement and joy.

Holi dancing
As they celebrate the beginning of spring and throw paint at each other, these Hindus experience for a day or two the reduction of the strict social structures. It seems that once the festival is over, the old barriers are back in place again.

How different for those in Christ - where every day is like a Holi day:

'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.' (Galatians 3:28)