Sunday, March 23, 2014

City-wide Water Balloon Fight

Our house, like most houses here, is surrounded by a large stone wall and an iron gate. When you walk out our gate, you are overlooking a relatively large field. The kids all around us congregate there and love playing with Paul (our 6 year old). I am constantly seeing Paul standing at the gate talking to someone I can't see on the other side of the stone wall. When we walk down the street, almost all of the kids say, "Hi Paul!" Luke has taken the boys out several times to play with the kids in the field.

A few weeks ago the kids around started throwing "water bombs" over our fence and trying to hit our kids. It wasn't malicious or anything, they were just having fun. And our kids loved it. We didn't realize it at the time, but the water bombs were leading up to a big holiday here, called "holi" day. They literally have a city-wide water balloon fight, where even the adults participate. 

As you would suspect, it's not a good holiday. And has roots in very bad hindu tradition. We weren't sure what to expect when this day arrived, and planned for the most part to just stay home. In a way it reminds me of halloween in the states. Where a long time ago it started for bad reasons, and yes people still celebrate the "bad part", but others just celebrate to have fun dressing up and eating candy. Over the years, some people remember the real reason for the Hindu Holi day, while others do it for fun. 

When the "holi" day arrived, we looked out over our gate and could see people all around throwing these water bombs at people. Adults standing on top of their roofs with buckets to dump on unsuspecting people. Others with water balloon launchers and kids throwing these water bombs everywhere. It was strange to see even the adults laughing hysterically.

Here is one neat video. We were able to zoom in from our house to see it. Watch the guy get hit upside the head. I can't believe Luke got this on video.

Here are some of the boys that were playing.

One of my friends wrote a blog post on why we shouldn't celebrate and lists what the meaning behind it is. Click here to read it.

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