The Great Leveler

The Great LevelerHeres a program from our archives.music; Raga BhimpalashriIn regions of Northern India, the holiday of Holi heralds the coming of spring with groups of revelers spreading color and mayhem. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Vikram Khollar grew up in Rajisthan, one of the regions in India where Holi is celebrated.Khollar: People start the morning by getting together in groups. The children forming a little group of their own and the adults, the men and the women, forming a group of their own. They travel from house to house and sprinkle this colored water and a colored powder called Ghulal on each other with a Pitchcari. It’s a spray gun which squirts colored water out of its nozzle. When you go out on Holi, you are very liable to be drenched by someone in the street who you have never met before in your life and who you probably will never meet again. But there is such a sense of solidarity and joy in the air that no one really cares and everyone loves the moment and is drenched in it. Holi is a great leveler of sorts. Because it is one of the few occasions where people from all castes and classes can mingle with each other freely, without guilt and without any kind of restraint, whatsoever. And there is that sense of touch involved. You have your servants or people of lower economic strata freely coming up to you, embracing you and literally touching you with their fingers on your face which in a normal situation would be unheard of.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast.

The Great Leveler

In India, Holi heralds the coming of spring with color, mayhem and a sense of cultural solidarity.
Air Date:03/26/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

The Great LevelerHeres a program from our archives.music; Raga BhimpalashriIn regions of Northern India, the holiday of Holi heralds the coming of spring with groups of revelers spreading color and mayhem. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Vikram Khollar grew up in Rajisthan, one of the regions in India where Holi is celebrated.Khollar: People start the morning by getting together in groups. The children forming a little group of their own and the adults, the men and the women, forming a group of their own. They travel from house to house and sprinkle this colored water and a colored powder called Ghulal on each other with a Pitchcari. It's a spray gun which squirts colored water out of its nozzle. When you go out on Holi, you are very liable to be drenched by someone in the street who you have never met before in your life and who you probably will never meet again. But there is such a sense of solidarity and joy in the air that no one really cares and everyone loves the moment and is drenched in it. Holi is a great leveler of sorts. Because it is one of the few occasions where people from all castes and classes can mingle with each other freely, without guilt and without any kind of restraint, whatsoever. And there is that sense of touch involved. You have your servants or people of lower economic strata freely coming up to you, embracing you and literally touching you with their fingers on your face which in a normal situation would be unheard of.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast.