World Religion Final Project- Holi, the annual Hindu Festival

Posted on December 13, 2013 by

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Holi, also known as Phagwah, is an annual festival celebrated by Hindus on the final full moon of the month. The festival usually takes place any where from early to late March. Holi represents the arrival of spring and is often referred to as the “Festival Of Colors”. Holi is considered to be one of the least religious festivals celebrated of the Hindu religion. The holiday started from the mythological tale of Hiranyakashipu and his son Prahlada. Prahlada is a devotee of Lord Vishnu who protects him in a series of murder attempts by his father. In one attempt, Hiranyakashipu attempted to burn his son alive. in honor of him, Holi is celebrated with huge bonfires that represent the story. It is celebrated over two days beginning on the night of the full moon. The second day of celebration is a public event where everyone wears and throws color powders and liquids, which is why the festival is also known as “ The Festival Of Colors.” Today, it is honored as the agriculture holiday to signify the changes of the seasons. This holiday is for people of all ages, social norms, genders, and wealth. To some the holiday can be overwhelming and they may choose to not partake in the wonderful event. The picture above shows how the festival is celebrated with colors.

The article, “Why I Won’t Play Holi This Year,” displays a bias opinion for reasons not to celebrate the colorful festival. The New York Times created this article. An experiment done with college students tested the wearing and throwing of the colored powdered. After conducting the experiment, they came up with reasons why one would not celebrate the holiday. The article is about the Hindu religion and holiday, expressing views only on the Hindu religion. The argument of the article is that the Holi festival is not all positive, that there are also negatives to it. These might include the holiday being too messy, having too sensitive of skin to participate with the colored powder, the chemicals in the coloring being damaging, and it explains many more reasons one would not participate in the holiday.

First impressions are not always good. The headline of the article gives a negative impression of the Holi festival to the viewer. The headline shows multiple reasons that one would not want to celebrate the “Festival Of Colors”. Along with the headline, the first paragraph gives an overall negative impression of the festival. The article states that although the holiday is one of India’s most exuberant, colorful holidays, celebrated with fervor across north India, it can also be frowned upon. Right below the headline a picture is displayed of a person in disgust with color all over their entire body. The reason for the negative picture is to illustrate what is being talked about in the writing and to show the voice for the rest of the paper. The picture is seen below.

Students of Rabindra Bharati University apply color on each other during Holi celebrations at Tagore House in Kolkata, West Bengal on Tuesday.

The author of the article does a great job using variety in their writing. There are no words or phrases the author uses repeatedly. Although, there is a lot of variety with the diction, the overall message being conveyed (the author will not be attending the festival for multiple reasons) is explained a number of times and the negativity throughout the article is easily felt. There is a lot of negativity in the writing, but the author supports their claims with explanations. For example, throughout the entire article the author talks about the holiday not being all too great, and never gives a reason why. However, at the end it supports the negative statements and recalls many reasons why one would not choose to attend the festive.

The article, “Why I Won’t Play Holi This Year” consists mostly of opinions. The title shows the article will most likely be opinions due to the fact that it states, “Why I Won’t Play Holi This Year.” This is telling the reader that the author will describe why he is not participating in Holi this year, not why someone else won’t be, but why he, in specific, is not participating in the event. In this particular article it is very easy to differentiate what is factual information and what is the author’s opinion. For example, these are a few reasons the author provides for not participating in Holi this year,

–      “My hair gets ruined with color. Mind you, the egg and beer thrown at you during Holi, do not exactly condition your hair.”

–     “I have white (not gray) hair, which takes on all shades and colors during Holi, I hate going to work like a punk, with all colorful hair.”

–      “I hate chemical colors.”

–      “There is no one to play with anymore.”

–      “It is a waste of water.”

–      “I feel cold, I do not want to fall sick.”

–     “I am all grown up to play Holi.”

All of these reasons are clearly opinions because no one can decide for someone else why they will or will not be participating in a certain event. Also, the only facts present in the article are what Holi is and how most people celebrate it. These facts are not referenced in a single source, so therefore they could be legit, or they could not be.

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The point of view being promoted in this article is that although Holi is one of the greatest celebrated festivals of the Hindu culture, not everyone enjoys it. The article comes across as the author being the bad guy in that he only states the negatives and downsides of the event, not the activities that everyone enjoys and why so many people show up to the widely known Hindu festival that is celebrated each year. The coverage of Holi in this article can be offensive to the people who enjoy the festival and take great pride that they are part of the Hindu culture who gets to celebrate this holiday. The practicers want others to see that it is a great, positive, and fun experience even if there is some short-term damage done.

Finally, the general attitude the author gives about Hindu as a religion is relatively negative. The writing looks down upon how Hindus like to celebrate their holidays and have fun. Every religion celebrates their own holidays in different ways, the article just shows the negativity of a great holiday that is greatly known. The article does not however state anything negative about the religion itself. It just talks poorly about how they celebrate the holiday as a religion.

Overall, the article is great if you want to know why one should not attend and participate in celebrating the traditional Hindu holiday event. But if somebody wants to attend the festival with a positive outlook, it would be best not to read it. The Holi festival is well known and celebrated by the Hindu culture, even though it is the least religious holiday celebrated. The photo below displays the festival being celebrated at a Hindu temple/building.

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  Bibliography:

“Eat, Pray, Smear.” Dining and Wine. New York Times, 22 Mar. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/dining/23phagwah.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1386810172-sUI59Vt8ybyGKAv6pz3iDw&gt;.

“Happy Holi!.” India Ink Happy Holi Comments. N.p., 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/happy-holi/&gt;.

“Holi, The Festival of Colors.” Events. N.p., 29 Mar. 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/events/forchildren/holi-the-festival-of-colors-11468.html&gt;.

Maygers, Bryan. “Holi: Know The Basics Of The Hindu Festival Of Colors.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 Mar. 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/19/holi_n_837102.html

“Why I Won’t Play Holi This Year.” India Ink Why I Wont Play Holi This Year Comments. New York Times, 7 Mar. 2012. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/why-i-wont-play-holi-this-year/?_r=0

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