In the spirit of this week’s “Family Traditions” theme, it’s time to welcome our next guest blogger, Amita!
Dr. Amita Roy Shah is an Adjunct Professor at San Jose State University. She also has professional experiences as a teacher, curriculum designer, and educational consultant. She received her doctorate (Ed.D.) in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2013. Her research focuses on understanding the experiences of South Asian Americans in the United States. She is particularly exploring the shortage of teachers of color in our nation’s schools.
For Indian Americans (such as myself), the spring season is a time when we celebrate Holi at home or with our local cultural organizations. Holi is known as the festival of colors. When I was growing up, there was not as much of an Asian Indian population in my neighborhood to coordinate Holi celebrations. I recall really looking forward to dressing up and going to my neighborhood’s annual Easter egg hunts. However, today, I feel like Holi is definitely becoming more popular with Indians and non-Indians. It is a fun celebration where people come together and throw colored powder on one another to welcome the spring season and brighter days ahead!
Spring is such a fun time for children. After a long winter season, children are finally ready get to go out and enjoy the warmer weather. Today, my family looks forward to having my son celebrate both Easter and Holi. I believe that all children should be able to experience celebrating Holi and throwing colors on one another! I wrote a book on Holi in hopes of having more children celebrate this colorful festival across our nation. I want all children to know that they do not have to be Indian or live in India to celebrate Holi.
From doing read-alouds across the bay area, I was excited to find that many children (from diverse ethnic backgrounds) know about Holi and celebrate Holi with their families. Many universities put together Holi celebrations that their local communities can join. For example, last year in California, Stanford University had 5,000 people attend their annual celebration. This year they expect the numbers to be even higher.
I hope that everyone reading this will do a Google search for Holi celebrations in their area. If you can’t find one, please refer to my blog post on activities that you can do with your children at home to expose them to Holi, the festival of colors. Your children will love welcoming spring by playing with colors—and if you think about it—what child (or adult, for that matter) wouldn’t want to welcome spring by going outside and throwing colored powder on one another?