Indian expats in Abu Dhabi celebrate festival of Holi
People converged at Khalifa Park despite the rainy weather, and celebrated the festival of colour in true Indian fashion.
Indian expatriates gathered at public parks in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Friday, bringing out the colours to celebrate the festival of Holi.
At Khalifa Park, about 4,000 people converged despite the rainy weather, and celebrated the festival in true Indian spirit. There were 4 DJs who entertained people with foot-tapping music.
Hundreds of residents in Dubai also soaked in the vibrant colours of Holi at Zaabeel Park and Al Mamzar Beach Park. The festival rightly captured the emotions as men, women and children threw colour powder and sprayed colours on each other.
"This is a festival of colours. The picturesque celebration of colours is something everyone can enjoy," said 51-year-old Raj Penjathaya, an IT engineer working with an Abu Dhabi Hospital.
"I have been celebrating Holi for the past 40 years. This is a one-day event where everyone shows love and humanity. Friends and enemies come together on this colourful day."
Anitah Kamar, 25, said she was excited about the festival. "This is my first time to celebrate Holi here in Abu Dhabi. It's so colourful."
"The spirit of Holi is the spirit of celebrating life with laughter, fun and merriment with friends and loved ones," she said.
The event, titled Colours of Friendship, was organised by NMC Hospital in coordination with the Indian Business and Professional Group.
Paddy Acharya, vice-president of the group said: "Holi is a festival of friendship. The event brings together the poor, the rich and people of different religions."
Jonia Matthew, from Red Dot - the company that has been organising Holi celebrations in the Capital for the past six years - said: "Life is colourful we believe! Colours are a part of our life and music is something everyone loves. And this is why we organise and celebrate this event every year.
Officials from the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi and people of other nationalities attended the event at the Reaction Park near Abu Dhabi Corniche. More than 1,000 Indian expats attended the event organised by the Indian Ladies Association. ILA celebrated the festival with lots of colour, fun, music, Rain Dance and with exciting raffles.
"I attend the Holi festival with my family every year," said Ram Kumar. "I think it's simply a great way for expat children growing up outside India to connect with the festivals their parents have grown up celebrating."
Arguably one of the most popular annual parties, Holi is a favourite festival among the community in the UAE.
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