Phagwah – Powder

Phagwah – Powder

Music; Ambience: Phagwah music

JM: We’re in Queens, New York, where every year at this time the streets are filled with exuberant music and dancing, and the aroma of — baby powder. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Right now, around the world people of Indian descent are celebrating an ancient festival of spring called “Holi”. But here in the Richmond Hill area of Queens, the festival is known as “Phagwah”. That’s also the name of the brightly colored powder that everybody seems to be throwing at each other. It’s baby powder that’s been dyed every color of the rainbow.

KS: “You have red, green, blue, just name it, and this powder is carried in the wind and everybody goes outdoors, all ages participate in the festival. Also it is a time too when those social differences that we have normally, like rich and poor, is all forgotten. and everyone joins together, so it’s a kind of the most communal festival.”

JM: Karna Singh, is with the Rakjumari Cultural Center in Queens.

KS: “It’s a time when people try to heal any difference or disagreement or conflict that existed from the past on this day. And the fun about it is that the way you do it is not by even discussing the problem, but just marching straight up to your, maybe, brother who you quarreled with or mother who you were angry with and take that colored powder and spray them or rub it onto them and hug them and kiss them.”

JM: Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Phagwah - Powder

In an Indo-Caribbean community an ancient festival of spring is celebrated with colored baby powder.
Air Date:03/28/2013
Scientist:
Transcript:

Phagwah - Powder

Music; Ambience: Phagwah music

JM: We're in Queens, New York, where every year at this time the streets are filled with exuberant music and dancing, and the aroma of -- baby powder. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Right now, around the world people of Indian descent are celebrating an ancient festival of spring called "Holi". But here in the Richmond Hill area of Queens, the festival is known as "Phagwah". That's also the name of the brightly colored powder that everybody seems to be throwing at each other. It's baby powder that's been dyed every color of the rainbow.

KS: "You have red, green, blue, just name it, and this powder is carried in the wind and everybody goes outdoors, all ages participate in the festival. Also it is a time too when those social differences that we have normally, like rich and poor, is all forgotten. and everyone joins together, so it's a kind of the most communal festival."

JM: Karna Singh, is with the Rakjumari Cultural Center in Queens.

KS: "It's a time when people try to heal any difference or disagreement or conflict that existed from the past on this day. And the fun about it is that the way you do it is not by even discussing the problem, but just marching straight up to your, maybe, brother who you quarreled with or mother who you were angry with and take that colored powder and spray them or rub it onto them and hug them and kiss them."

JM: Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.