Indians wherever they may be, takes immense delight in celebrating
the festival of Holi and South Africa is no exception. The vibrant
Gujarati's and other Indians settled in South Africa have made it a point to
keep the tradition of celebrating Holi alive in the country. They play
colours, light bonfires called Holika, sing Holi songs and make merry. The
evenings are spent in meeting friends and relatives and exchanging greetings
People believe that it is becoming all the more important to keep the
ancient customs alive in this conflict ridden society. The festival of Holi
is vital in this aspect as it is believed that Holi helps people to get
closer. It generates warmth in relationships and even enemies turns friends
in the spirit of Holi.
It may be noted that South Africa is located at the southern tip of the
continent of Africa.
It had the largest immigrant Indian community in the world a decade prior
to the colonization by the United States of America. Indians account of
almost one million in the country. Most of them are concentrated in the
eastern regions of Natal and Transvaal of the country. About 65% are Hindus,
15% Muslims and 20% of Christians live in this area. Due to the majority of
the Hindu population, a number of Hindu festivals are celebrated here. Most
of the Hindus here are from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and
continue to follow their regional variations of Hinduism.