I had mixed feelings about the Festival of Colors the day of, but I think I've come to terms with it now.
On one hand, we have
(1) dumb kids mindlessly taking part of an actually meaningful religious ritual, who don't care to/bother to really understand, thereby appreciate, thereby respect this different culture.
(2) another example of Western appropriation/romanticization/orientalism of an Eastern tradition (I think I saw "cultural rape" or another phrase akin to it used to describe this at some point)
But then again, consider that
(1) the whole idea behind Holi to begin with is carnival-esque in that it's all about stripping social distinction and forgetting imposed "rules" like that, so not following the "rules" and just throwing powder at everyone willy-nilly is in line with the spirit of Holi
(2) the founders of the Spanish Fork Hare Krishna temple, Caru Das Adhikary and his wife, are white and from California (at least most recently before they came to Utah), so how culturally authentic is this Holi anyway?
However, at one point the emcee? moderator? leader? the guy with the mic directing the color-throwing did make a comment about how yes, this is a great, colorful, fun event that photographers LOVE and get tons of cool pictures from, but he wanted to remind us that thereis deeper significance behind it all.
But let's be honest.
Most of the people were only there to take fun pictures. They were only there because it's fun to throw powder at people and to get powder thrown at you. They were only there for mindless senseless fun. The VAST majority, I would say were like this. Plus I saw a total of 4.5 brown (read: non-white, non-Mormon) people at Holi: 4.5 people who were actually culturally entitled to be part of the festival. I suppose most of the other tens of thousands who were there were content with being ignorant to the cultural richness behind it all.
So I guess I'm still torn after all.
Although I did, incidentally, get some cool pictures. Don't judge me please.
Was this just nonsensical rambling to you? Have any comments or criticisms?