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Expats to celebrate Holi in Busan

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Published : 2014-03-04 20:39
Updated : 2014-03-26 10:00

This event is organized by a group called Indians in Korea. However, there are two groups using that name. The organizers of this event should not be confused with the Indians in Korea that began in 2002 and can be found at indiansinkorea.com. -- Ed.

Indians in Korea will celebrate Holi at Haeundae Beach in Busan on March 16.

Holi is a Hindu spring festival that is most famous for its tradition in which people throw colorful dyes and water at each other. Although a religious festival, it is increasingly popular with non-Hindus.

This is the fourth time IIK has held a Holi festival in Busan, and though the first year was small, it has grown since, according to Amit Gupta, one of the festival organizers.
People pose after throwing colors at each other during last year’s Holi festival in Busan. (IIK)

“The first time around 100 people gathered. The second time it was around 500, and then the third time it was around 2,000 people, so it’s growing exponentially,” he said.

Gupta said the group was hoping to see around 3,000 people get involved this year. He added that a key theme of the festival was equality, and that it was not just Indians that could get involved.

“The IIK community, which has over 5,000 members, organizes the festival for everybody, because this festival is basically for equality and for fun and for joy,” he said. “And Holi is very popular in countries like the U.S. and U.K. and South Africa because many Indian people live there, so they know about the Holi festival.”

Indians in Korea will provide Holi colors, colorful Holi caps, samosas and a welcome drink of beer or cola for each registered person.

IIK will provide bus transportation to the beach from Seoul, Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, and Chuncheon, South Chungcheong Province leaving at 8 a.m. the day before.

The group will gather at 9 a.m. in the central area of Haeundae Beach, with color throwing to start at 11:30 a.m. and face-painting at noon. Bollywood music will be played from 1 p.m.

Participants should wear white and be prepared for their clothing to get stained.

Participation is 10,000 won per person and free for those under 12, and taking the IIK bus costs 35,000 won. Although there will be some provision for people to join without registering, this will be limited. To register, fill out the online registration form available at holihai.net and send the relevant amount to the account provided by Saturday, followed by a confirmation email to korea.iik@gmail.com.

By Paul Kerry (paulkerry@heraldcorp.com)

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