Mar 13, 2017

Tints that shift the hues of life

Holi, the Hindu Spring festival of colour and love was celebrated over the world over the weekend.

Smearing each other with coloured powder or drenching each other with coloured water, it is a time of colour, music dance and fun.

This year’s Holi was more blessed, thanks to a special group who brought back the colour and music of the festival back into those who were denied the pleasure since ancient times.

On March 09, NGO Sulabh International, which provides services and shelter to widows in Vrindavan, northern India, held a public Holi celebration for a group of widows.

For conservative Hindu women in India, becoming a widow can mean eternal banishment from society. When husbands die, widows often end up ostracized, dismissed as inauspicious perpetual mourners. Until recently, they were not socially permitted to celebrate the colorful festival.

In the following images, they undergo an apparent transformation, their white saris of widowhood covered in brilliant yellows, pinks and greens. 

For women condemned to eternal grief, it’s a visually stunning act of joyful defiance.

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