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Vrindavan widows break 400 year old tradition, celebrate Holi

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Holi
Image source: aljazeera.com

Vrindavan: The 400-year-old custom of Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan seems to be fading away as hundreds of widows played Holi within the premises of the ancient shrine on Monday. The temple witnessed breaking the shackles of yet another tradition when the widows were joined by Sanskrit scholars and priests into the merrymaking, which the old women felt as a “break from their otherwise grief-stricken lives.”

The temple which was built in 1599 saw the festivity revelry marked by tears and a riot of colors when widows and young Sanskrit scholars from Varanasi and pundits from the temple together joined the celebrations, signifying the further social assimilation and acceptance of these widows.

It was for the first time that the Holi celebrations by widows in Vrindavan and Varanasi were held at the historic temple, instead of being usually held at Pagal Baba Widow Ashram.

Bindeshwar Pathak, the main organisers of the program, said, “Their participation in Holi symbolizes a break from tradition which forbids a widow from wearing coloured saree, among many other things”.

As ‘Holi hai’ echoed in the air, about 1,200 kgs of ‘gulal’ (coloured powder) and 1,500 kgs of rose and marigold petals filled the atmosphere. Abandoned by their families or having chosen a life in the ashrams voluntarily, the widows cheered and at least, for a moment forgot all their pains.

“Times have changed for the good. People no longer look at us as a curse. When I see these young children having no inhibitions in sharing their joys with women like me, I feel very happy,” said Rasia, 65, from Nepal. Having lost her husband at the young age of 17, teary-eyed Rasia told reporters that this Holi has been “the best” for her.

Smearing colours on each other’s faces, the widows danced to the tunes of traditional braj holi songs, along with a mix crowd of young scholars and temple priests.

Talking to reporters was Sanskrit scholar Shyamlesh Tewari, who also participated in the celebrations. Tewari, the director of Gandhi Vidya Sansthan, Samvadshala said, “It is time that these century-old traditions are broken and widows given the right to be happy like others.” Another scholar, Tikaram Pandey, said, “Our shastras do not say that widows should be treated differently. They have every right to live and enjoy normal lives”.

The event also witnessed cheerful participation of locals and some foreign tourists also, who played colour with the widows, some even dancing to the beats of hit Bollywood numbers.

Anooporna Sharma, another widow, said, “These celebrations are welcome temporary breaks from our otherwise grief-stricken lives.” (Inputs from Agencies)

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Proud that we Indians are breaking the stereotypes! They deserved the celebration, they did. Amazing.

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Check Out The Latest Trends In Festive Jewellery

Deepali Mathur, fashion stylist and a brand strategist, has a list of unconventional and head-turning festive jewellery trend suggestions:

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Festive, wedding jewellery styles you must have Flickr

Thanks to the festive as well as wedding seasons, it’s all about the latest fashion trends that is being mostly researched on internet. But how much have you thought about the jewellery which plays an intrinsic role in enhancing your beauty?

Chitwn D Malhotra, founder and lead designer at Dillano Luxurious Jewels Ltd, and Deepali Mathur, fashion stylist and a brand strategist, have a list of unconventional and head-turning festive and wedding jewellery trend suggestions:

 

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Maang Tikka Can Elevate Your look. Flickr

 

* Maangtika, Maathapattis, headgears: These are not just for brides, but can also help you steal the show during the festivities. Exclusive picks such as a diamond drop maangtika or a maathapatti with white kundan or a sleek headgear can cover all your occasions starting from festivals to wedding seasons to New Year madness.

* Shoulder duster earring: Chandeliers are symbols of royalty, luxury and class. However, this season they are representing style, creativity and boldness in the form of shoulder duster earrings. Deliberately designed to brush the clavicles, the long statement danglers are unique in hues and shapes, hence a sure shot way to have all the eyes.

* Cocktail ring: A perfect blend of classic and modern jewellery style, a diamond or sapphire studded cocktail ring is a must-have for this celebration season. Whether a wedding or a party, these contemporary cocktail rings are designed to make fashion statements with traditional as well as western attire.

Jewellery
Whether a wedding or a party, these contemporary cocktail rings are designed to make fashion statements. Flickr

* Contemporary yet conventional: An all-time favourite for an everyday wear that weighs less, is a perfect bold finished piece with embellished stones to give a perfect elegant look.

Also Read: NY Fashion Week Get A Touch of Thai

* Polki and traditional motifs: Uncut polki with pastel meenakari are in huge trend this festive season. It gives a traditional and royal look to every modern woman. An absolute balance between being trendy and traditional whereas jewellery crafted using traditional motifs such as peacock, lotus or any other in gold finish options are perfect for an ethnic and contemporary attire. (IANS)