Dolyatra is celebrated in March on varying dates each year, depending on the position of the moon, and this year it fell on March 7. The holiday is similar to Holi and commemorates the last festival of the Bengali calendar.
We celebrated Holi on Friday, 18th March, which is always looked forward to and enjoyed by everyone.
Our Dance Tutor Dev Ambuly (see photo above) came over especially to visit the two homes and as you can see, our new Puja is thoroughly enjoying herself in her new surroundings at Lula Bari.
The initial group of shuktara residents who received their first vaccine have now received their second and everyone who lives and works at shuktara continues to be well.
You may remember that Pappu chose the group who spend more time outside the homes to be vaccinated, in the hope it would protect them, their families and the more vulnerable ones that are in Lula Bari and Anna Bari. This seems to have worked and as I said – everyone is and has always stayed well.
Our hopes and dreams of the Shuktara Cakes Café are happening slowly, with teams here and in Kolkata working to make sure everything is done properly, legally and safely.
Pappu will be working with a consultant who has already set up three cafes in Kolkata. They will prepare a thoroughly costed business plan and budget so the Shuktara Trust UK trustees can ensure the cafe can operate cost effectively both in the short and long term.
I really appreciate all the support you have shown since 1999 and now that things are safer the UK trustees and I will be able to get together soon to discuss fundraising strategies to continue supporting the homes, ensuring that they have more than sufficient funds for shuktara’s annual running costs and get the Shuktara Cakes Cafe off the ground.
Of course, any of you that wish to run marathons or help us in any way – please get in touch!!!!!!!!!
My very best wishes
Everyone in India celebrates the coming of spring with the festival of Holi, called Dol in West Bengal (Bengali: দোল পূর্ণিমা ‘Dol Purnimā’). The celebration last Sunday involved a rainbow of colours and gave a chance for both shuktara homes to interact with people in the community.
Only on this day are young people allowed to be a little cheeky with older people by gently rubbing powdered colour on their faces. As you can see it’s a delightful celebration and no one can resist smiling.
Everyone knows that Holi is the festival of colours, and probably the most fun you can have in India. The boys of shuktara and their friends always meet at Anna Bari to throw paint powder at each other and put it on each others faces. We all laugh – a lot. This festival is a wonderful beginning to spring and a welcome break from work and studies.
After Saraswati Puja everyone looks forward to Holi, the spring festival of colours. All the flowering trees are in full bloom, colour is everywhere and spring has truly arrived.
Holi is probably one of the few festivals that needs no explanation because around the world photos are shared of people young and old throwing coloured powder and eventually covered in a rainbow of colours.
Here are just a few photos and videos of the fun at shuktara…
Happy Holi from Muniya
Sunil and Pappu
Holi is an Indian spring festival also known as the "festival of colours". As Wikipedia says: "It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh."
As you can see from the photos, this is a favorite festival at shuktara, celebrated by everyone.
Happy Holi from all of us at shuktara!
According to Wikipedia:
"Holi (होली) is a colourful and happy Hindu holiday celebrated primarily in India on the last full moon of the lunar month of Phalguna at the end of the winter season. It falls in either late February or early March. It is also known as the Festival of Colours."
At shuktara Holi has a long history - every year everyone at shuktara throws coloured powder and liquid colour in bright, vibrant hues at each other, the staff and friends who come by. For days afterward the colour is still visible on faces, hands, and clothes as it slowly fades. Holi is a wonderful holiday, one that everyone participates in and completely enjoys.
Holi was celebrated much more vigorously in Lula Bari, our girls home, than it was by the boys here in Kolkata.
Maybe as they grow older, the boys are not quite so interested, but the girls had a great day.