I’ve been living in Nepal as a foreigner for a while now. This year I experienced the Holi Festival of Colours in Nepal for the first time. Leaving my house late afternoon, my friends splashed my face saying
“Happy Holi Alex!”
Getting my revenge, I splashed them back with red Abhir . As a foreigner, for a long time I’d dreamed of experiencing Holi within the Kathmandu Valley. This year, a few friends of mine in Kathmandu invite me to a private party. I chose not to go. I thought to myself
“I’m a foreigner, this is my first Holi! I want to be right in the center of it all.”
So where did I go? I made my friends take me to Basantapur Durbar Square. We thought if we’d be all on motorbikes we’d get there quickly. Oh, how we were all wrong, the traffic was so busy we could barely park our bikes!
As I have travelled around India for some festivals, I was worried about not only being a foreigner but a female. That I would get groped or treated badly by some men. My friends were also concerned for my safety by the great volumes of crowds at Basantapur.
What I can safely say is that not a single person disrespected me. Everyone was gentle, friendly and welcoming. I had a different experience of what others portrayed through the media. I was not manhandled at all.
In my eyes, I did not see any females being touched inappropriately, but then again I can’t speak for Holi goers that weren’t in my presence that day.
I started off my day wearing white, my blonde hair and pale skin. I ended up finishing with multicoloured hair, hardly any of my skin visible and purple teeth! I video called my mum in the UK and she did not recognise me. When picking up the phone she first said jokingly
“Where is my daughter, I don’t recognize this different girl?”
I was unrecognizable. Even though it was incredibly busy I wouldn’t take my experience back.
It made me proud to be living in Nepal with such beautiful people.
I had never smiled so much that day from making new friends and seeing everyone’s beautiful happy faces in Durbar Square. In comparison to travelling around India, it made me feel that Nepal was the safest place to celebrate as a female!
In the media all the negative stories are featured, it’s rare the positive ones are published that often. My point is, as a foreigner and a female I did not experience any danger at this years Holi.
As a result of this, I have now told all of my friends from England to visit and celebrate the Holi Festival in Nepal.
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