It’s hard to believe it, but the husband and I are already 17 months into our two-year tour in Suriname. That’s a fair chunk of time, but for all we’ve experienced here, one activity still stands out as the clear winner: Holi Phagwa.
As I wrote in my first post on Phagwa, this festival is an important Hindu holiday marking the defeat of evil and the triumph of light. Celebrations are held annually in the Palm Garden park, with musical groups playing, food and beer for purchase, and a tiny train for the wee ones to ride.
My favorite part, however, is the excuse the holiday presents for chunking things (i.e., brilliantly-hued powder) at colleagues, family, and friends. I mean, as adults, how many of these chances do we get (at least without being carted off by the Five-0)?
Additionally, I’ve always loved the concept of the Color Run. But as a gal who favors water sports (swimming and surfing) and avoids running at all costs (except when necessary to flee bears and other speedy predators), I adore this opportunity to indulge in the color part while ignoring the running bit. Instead of sprinting a 5K, I opened up the day with a foot-wide Dutch pancake studded with pineapple and doused with coconut milk syrup. Somehow, I managed to make peace with the trade.
Tasty as the pancake was, though, the Phagwa-tivities were even better. Lots of laughter with friends, a few ruined t-shirts, and a whole lot of COLOR.
Per usual, I think the pictures tell the story pretty well. Note the first one: me and my ever-so-dear-don’t-know-how-I’d-get-by-without-you-friend, Megan, looking *relatively* clean. Two hours later, and the photos of me and the husband show the progression. Gone are the pure, occasional spots of color. With the application of sweat, dirt, and way too much powder, the whole human canvas has turned into a muddy mess… kinda like rainbow ice cream after it’s melted.
It’ll take a few more showers to get all the purple stains out of my elbow creases, the red out of my ears, and the blue off my bra line. Our car–whose upholstery bore the brunt of our stained clothes–may never recover.
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