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Drenched in Holi colours, widows shun white in northern India

Friday, March 10, 2017 - 01:12

Shunned by their loved ones and abhorred by the society, widows in India's northern Vrindavan city break taboos as they soak in colours of Holi, a Hindu festival marking the onset of spring. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Shunned by their loved ones and abhorred by the society, widows in India's northern Vrindavan city broke taboos on Thursday (March 09) as they soaked in colours of Holi, a Hindu festival marking the onset of spring. The ancient traditions of India bar widows from participating in any celebrations as their presence is considered ominous. A woman whose husband is not alive is ostracized by society and irrespective of her age, she is obligated to donate a drab garment and give up on any forms of adornments. However, a hermitage in Vrindavan, run by non-profit Sulabh International, has spent years working towards the emancipation of widows from the redundant mindset of society by organising Holi celebrations and to encourage them to live life to the fullest. Meanwhile, Varanasi city saw a unique Holi celebration as 'sadhus' or holy Hindu men and devotees daubed each other with ashes from pyres at Manikarnika Ghat - bank of river Ganges where Hindus cremate their dead. Holi is one of the most awaited festivals for Hindus. People forget all differences on this day and celebrate with traditional sweets like 'gujiya' - a dumpling stuffed with sweetmeat. The festival is celebrated with much gusto across India. Though it is a single day affair elsewhere in India, it is almost a ten-day affair in some parts of Uttar Pradesh.

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Drenched in Holi colours, widows shun white in northern India

Friday, March 10, 2017 - 01:12