I am not such a big fan of celebrating festivals. There I said it! I hope my parents don’t read this. But, I do love Holi. Maybe it’s just the colors or maybe its the joy of walking down the streets covered in low quality colors which ruin my skin. Well, whatever it may be; each Holi, I cannot hold myself back from getting together with my friends and using them colors to disfigure the faces that I see everyday.
“There are two sides to a coin”. This is the point made by every kid who has no idea what to write in that essay on their exams and it holds true here. It saddens me to say that the perverts have ruined Holi.
Let me take you back to 11th grade when I went to Basantapur to celebrate Holi. A free venue to celebrate Holi is what every broke High Schooler dreams of. A group of guys grab my female friend out of the blue and start coloring her face and t-shirt in the spirit of “playing holi”. We created a protective barrier around the girls while we danced so that no other perverts would be able to get to them. That day, me and my friends decided that we would never go to Basantapur to celebrate Holi ever again.
Me and my friends have always been careful since that day. Still, we witness guys doing this every year. I won’t lie, I even know some people who do this. In my experience, trying to talk them out of it has not accomplished anything. Of course, this has decreased a little since that time but it is still a major concern.
So, why do people do this? Honestly, I am confused myself. I am a hopeful person so my best guess is that they do not themselves know the consequences of doing this.
- Maybe they grew up in an environment where they were not taught respect and personal boundaries.
- Maybe they were not taught to respect all the sexes equally. This kind of makes sense in the context of Nepal.
- Maybe it makes them feel powerful.
- Maybe they are desperate enough that touching a female for a few seconds satisfies them.
- Maybe they have no female role models in their lives and have not learnt to respect women.
Whatever the reason is, it does not justify the mental and emotional strain and pain that the harassed person goes through. This is true about all cases of harassment, not just the ones during Holi.
I would like to thank everyone who is playing Holi for the plain fun in it. Let’s keep this awesome and beautiful festival enjoyable for everyone.
Some Common Pervert Arguments
Q: If I can play Holi with random guys on the streets then why can’t I do the same with women?
A: Well, there is a fine line between playing Holi and “playing” Holi. Trust me, your intentions are easy to read. On top of that, you have your own group. Go play with them. You putting colors on other groups won’t automatically brighten up their day. It is not okay to play with people you don’t know; male or female; without their consent.
Q: But, they are on the streets so they must want to play Holi with strangers
A: The streets are not your property. This would apply only if you replace the streets with “my house” (and on with “in” for you grammar nazi friends of mine)