Holi

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I am trying to right the error that we Malaysians do not know about the things and events happening in our own backyard. From time and time again, I'd say that tourists have better knowledge of our cultures and festivals than we do. Although Holi did not originate from Malaysia, but it has been celebrated for some years now (the earliest querry I could find through Google was back in 2008). Once again, there is no need for me to explain what Holi is, as Wikipedia has always been a good source for quick information on such festivals. I do, however, have to admit that I did not read up on the context of the festival until I have post-processed all my images. All I knew was there will be powders hurled around, it might've been helpful to know the why's and what's, so that photographing the event would have been all the more meaningful.

Although the organiser of the event stated that cameras were not allowed into the event, there were still many of us wielding plastic/cling-wrapped DSLRs into the venue, just like this gentleman above. For the uninitiated, the fine coloured powder(s) are the main culprits that causes damage to expensive lenses, cleaning them will require dismantling, and even so it might not guarantee that the stains will completely come off. Photographers still could not let such an explosion of colours pass though.

They say the powders on that day were powders imported all the way from India. According to sources I could read from, I would guess the reason to get imported powders were to make sure these were the powders that were naturally made to ensure safety in case you ingest them. I do question, however, on how some exotic colours were made. Don't get me wrong, I loved how vibrant the lime-green, teal and purple powders looked, but it boggles me how natural herbs could produce these luminescent colours without having to synthesise them. I still brought a few bags home, just in case I needed them in future projects.

The last picture was probably the winning shot of the day. Holi is also known as the Festival of Love. I guess this was the most appropriately captured photo, and it was done not a moment too late.

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Kyle Low

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