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India – Holi, the Festival of Colors – the start of Spring

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On March 14, around 1,000 Hindu widows in a north Indian town came together to celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colors, which marks the start of spring.

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In a bold departure from Hindu tradition, which expects widows to renounce earthly pleasures and wear only white, the women indulged in festivities by throwing colored powder, water, and flower petals.

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After their husbands’ deaths, these women were ostracized by their families who believed they brought bad luck.

Many such widows, who were treated as social outcasts, migrated to the holy town of Vrindavan which is said to be the birthplace of the Hindu deity, Lord Krishna.

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Often widowed at a young age, these women have lived destitute and marginalized lives on the streets.

After a Supreme Court directive in 2012, Sulabh International is providing the widows in Vrindavan with healthcare and a monthly allowance of $32.

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“I loved Holi as a kid. I played it after I got married at the age of 10. But color vanished from my life after my husband died. I was just 20. I could not wear colorful clothes, or apply lali (color) on my lips. I was shooed away from functions. Playing Holi was something I could not imagine.” – Lalita Adikari, 108 years old

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Kamla, who migrated to Vrindavan as a widow many years ago, told the Times of India, “Where will we get another occasion like this? I wish this color never comes off.”

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See 15 more amazing photos, HERE:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/17-incredible-images-of-indian-widows-shunning-tradition

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March 20, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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