So let’s talk about Holi. For one thing, I didn’t even realize this very Indian holiday had been appropriated by ridiculous white Midwesterners until recently. I mean, fair enough, to many Indians, it primarily means an opportunity to drink, consume bhang, and drive dangerously — so you can understand why it would appeal to college students in the States.
Buuuuuut, it’s a Hindu holiday. It’s on the Hindu calendar, not the Gregorian one. It’s also supposed to celebrate the start of spring. Which it isn’t in the United States, because the USA is in the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE.
And it is one of the most blatant examples of exotification of another culture I’ve ever seen — if you want to have a water festival where you throw coloured dye on each other, just have a water festival where you throw coloured dye on each other. You could call it the We Throw Coloured Dye On Each Other Festival. Why you gotta call it Holi? Oh right, because that exotic brightly coloured powder and the charming photos of dark-skinned people doing such amazingly rustic and interesting things is SO COOL and we want to do what they do!
Appropriation and cultural fetishizing: never cool. Quit it.