By Saniya Giniatullina, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.
The origin of the Holi One Festival goes back to Hindu culture in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan where thousands of people gather together to embrace the colour, music and community. The original purpose of this festival was to celebrate the end of winter, as it is usually held in springtime, to thank the Gods for the rich harvests and fertile lands. Although it is the least religious holiday, within the region, it is a moment of togetherness and fun for peoples of all ages who are able throw coloured powder at each other, dance and laugh.
This event is currently taking place all over the world, including countries such as Brazil, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Poland, UK, USA and Spain. It is a great opportunity to promote Hindu culture as a tool of cultural diplomacy to educate the world about this unique event and tradition. By experiencing the Holi One Festival of Colours people from many nations will be able to become closer to cultures and countries which may otherwise be distant.
The city of Berlin will hold the event on August 10th 2013 in Festplatz Ringstraße 24, where several famous DJs will play sets and other performance artists will entertain the crowd. The participants of the event are invited to wear white clothes and purchase the coloured powder to throw at one another. The result is a colourful dance-like performance alongside the sound of live music and shows. The powder is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, allergy free and water-soluble. However, those who suffer from asthma or other sort of allergies are invited to wear mouth and/or eye protection.
The globalization of this event not only brings people different countries together, but also brings them closer to the Hindu culture. This enables the intercultural bridge between nations to strengthen. Even the motto of the event “We Are One” suggests a message of union and equality, which are the fundamental basics for cultural diplomacy.