White tee shirts turned to pink and purple, and not a single face went untarnished.
Neha Gautam, a resident of Jackson Heights, was out for her third parade celebrating the Hindu holiday of Holi, which celebrates the arrival of spring. She noticed that a majority of the attendees from the neighborhood are actually Indo-Caribbean and West Indians.
“There’s not a lot of Indians here, but it’s a lot of Indo-Caribbean/West Indians, so they’re from the Indian diaspora, but their Hindu’s from Trinidad and Guyana,” Gautam explained. “I think the West Indian community here is really strong and they’re actually more Hindu in religion than most Indians here.”
Gautam, like many who came out to the festival, were there to let loose on the weekend and spend the afternoon with their friends and families.
“It’s really fun, and it’s a participatory event and you can’t just watch,” she said. “It calls you in to participate, and the whole idea is to celebrate spring, wash away winter grey and celebrate birth and life.”
Bobby Roghubir and his company Choka Lymes held a canned food drive at the event. He was out on the parade route to support the holiday, handing out complimentary snacks.
“My job is to see everyone happy,” said Roghubir. “We like to see different communities come together and we believe in no drama and no politics.”