Phagwah: Meaning

ambience: drumming and crowd sounds

There’s a full moon tonight, and for those who observe the Indian lunar calendar, this particular moon shines on a very special time of year. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Right now, in many parts of the world, people of Indian descent are celebrating a Hindu festival known as Phagwah.

“The roots of Phagwah, like all Indian festivals, from its earliest tribal days, are the changes of the seasons. And then for the individual, the changes of the life, from birth to puberty, then you come to marriage and death. And so nature too is going through all these cycles. And then coming back to rebirth, or reawakening.” Phagwah is simply the welcoming of the spring, the new season, and it also called Holi. It is the most joyful, happiest festival of the Indians.”

Karna Singh is an expert on the culture of “Indo-Caribbeans” people like himself whose ancestors migrated from India to the East Indies in the 1800’s and later came to the United States. Today, their cultural mecca in New York is the Richmond Hill area of Queens, where every year they celebrate Phagwah in a parade of joyful music and dancing.

Phagwah represents the triumph of good over evil, but it’s also a festival that celebrates romance and courtship.

“Phagwah is associated with the blossoming of love, of young love, and young romance.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation.

music

Phagwah: Meaning

The most joyful festival of the Indo-Caribbean culture is in early spring. Phagwah is a celebration of the rebirth of nature and the spirit of young love.
Air Date:03/25/2005
Scientist:
Transcript:


ambience: drumming and crowd sounds

There's a full moon tonight, and for those who observe the Indian lunar calendar, this particular moon shines on a very special time of year. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Right now, in many parts of the world, people of Indian descent are celebrating a Hindu festival known as Phagwah.

"The roots of Phagwah, like all Indian festivals, from its earliest tribal days, are the changes of the seasons. And then for the individual, the changes of the life, from birth to puberty, then you come to marriage and death. And so nature too is going through all these cycles. And then coming back to rebirth, or reawakening." Phagwah is simply the welcoming of the spring, the new season, and it also called Holi. It is the most joyful, happiest festival of the Indians."

Karna Singh is an expert on the culture of "Indo-Caribbeans" people like himself whose ancestors migrated from India to the East Indies in the 1800's and later came to the United States. Today, their cultural mecca in New York is the Richmond Hill area of Queens, where every year they celebrate Phagwah in a parade of joyful music and dancing.

Phagwah represents the triumph of good over evil, but it's also a festival that celebrates romance and courtship.

"Phagwah is associated with the blossoming of love, of young love, and young romance."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation.

music