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Water Baloons, Pichkaris and Gulaal, Why this year’s Holi is unlike any other

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Holi Celebrations in India

Holi Celebrations in India

 

SANTA CLARA Calif. (Diya TV) Smear me with Pink and Orange, douse me in Blue in Green! Ahhh… All that I can imagine right now is having all these colors on me! The season of Spring blooms is here and “Holi” is the way millions celebrate the joy and cheer of this festival of colors. Holi is an an ancient festival of India and was originally known as ‘Holika’. Holi is celebrated with great joy and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun (generally in the month of March).

The festival across India is celebrated with different names, traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe. Holi is a very lively festival celebrating the arrival of spring. It marks the season of hope and joy with the bright summer days. Fields get filled with crops promising a good harvest to the farmers and flowers bloom coloring the surroundings and filling fragrance in the air.

In different parts of the country, communities get together for large bonfires, families, friends and neighbors gather together around this symbolic fire and pour rice, coconuts and other offerings to pray and ward off any evil spirits. Every household prepares a special festive meal along with festive dishes and ambrosia to be offered to the holy fire. Puranpoli is a main delicacy in Mumbai, a stuffed sweet bread smothered with clarified butter that is a kid-favorite. The little ones come home after playing holi and chanting ‘Holi re Holi puranachi poli’.

Holi is celebrated very uniquely in India, everyone wears a festive look (mostly seen in their white dresses). Market places get all buzzed up with activity as the shoppers start making preparations for the festival. Giant heaps of various hues of Gulaal (dyed pink corn starch) can be seen on the roadside few days before the festival. Pichkaris (commonly known as water guns), where every year they come up with different designs in the market attracting the children and obviously to get everybody drenched in color.

Speaking of pichkaris, Deepika Padukone’s ‘Balam Pichkari, from the movie ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ is the modern day Bollywood representation of Holi and for you classic movie lovers, let’s not forget the scandalous Rang Barsefrom the film ‘Silsila’ starring Amitabh Bachchan & Shashi Kapoor, Rakhi and Rekha

California is not the only place dealing with a drought, this year India is facing some serious water shortage which has spurred off into social media campaign by nature activists and celebs urging folks to be mindful and conserve water. The impact of the drought goes beyond just the water shortage. Hydro power plants are a staple source of electricity in India, the droughts continue to have a long-tail with power cuts in addition to the water scarcity. The affected areas are among the metropolitan cities especially in the Southern states. Some state governments event went so far as to prohibit misuse of water in celebrating this festival.

Taking to Twitter Mumbai Police urged the people saying.. “Water = Life, No Water = No Life, Life or Holi”

Despite all these severe weather changes, people in India are taking socially aware of the water problems and are using this an opportunity to teach and keeping a positive outlook and celebrating the festival without any water baloons or pichakaris…its a symbolic way to celebrate with just dry colors and keep the tradition alive with ‘dry holi’

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Indian American Illustrator Nidhi Chanani Premieres Pashmina

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Nidhi Chanani
Nidhi Chanani

Indian American illustrator Nidhi Chanani has released her first graphic novel Pashmina.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian American illustrator Nidhi Chanani has released her first graphic novel Pashmina.

Pashmina was partially inspired by Chanani’s childhood. Both she and her main character Priyanka “love samosas and drawing comics.”

In the graphic novel, Priyanka’s family and friends encourage her artistic pursuits. Chanani says “I can only speak from my own experience but I wasn’t encouraged towards art. Most

often I heard about engineering, accounting, law and medicine as viable career tracks. In Pashmina I chose to show a community we can strive towards rather than one steeped in old values and ideals. And yes I hope that Pashmina will inspire young artists to pursue different tracks. I also hope that parents will see the book as an example of how being an artist is also a viable career,” she said in a ComicsBeat.com article.

The creator of Every Day Love, a “whimsical” look into the life of immigrant children, the digital illustrator was given the Champion of Change award by the White House in 2012.

She uses digital media applications, such as Flash and Photoshop, as well as wood burning and watercolor in creating her art.

According to her website bio, she “creates because it makes her happy – with the hope that it can make others happy, too.”

Here is a brief animated preview of the release: https://everydayloveart.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pashmina_promo_fullvideo.mp4?_=1

Pashmina was released by First Second Publishing on Oct. 3 and premieres at the New York Comic Con this week. A number of tour stops are scheduled for Chanani.

Chanani is a freelance illustrator, cartoonist and writer. She recently illustrated Misty – The Proud Cloud, a children’s book by Hugh Howey and is an instructor in the Master of Fine Arts, Comics program at the California College of Arts.

Chanani has appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and BBC Radio. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, the Women’s March, My Modern Met, Bored Panda and India Times.She has worked with Disney, ABC, Airbnb, Sony, Microsoft, State Farm Insurance and a variety of other clients. Her non-fiction comics have appeared in the Nib. Everyday Love Art products are sold across the country, including the San Francisco International Airport, Books Inc., and Therapy stores.

She was born in Calcutta, India and raised in southern California. She holds a degree in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Pixar Partners with Khan Academy to launch online storytelling course

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Pixar Animation Studios is partnering with Khan Academy to launch the first of six free online lessons covering the art of storytelling, the course is taught by Pete Docter, Mark Andrews, and other filmmakers from the renowned Disney-owned studio.

The new series includes Pete Docter, director of “Inside Out,” “Up” and “Monsters, Inc.”; Mark Andrews, director and screenwriter of “Brave” and story supervisor on “The Incredibles”; Sanjay Patel, director of “Sanjay’s Super Team” and animator on “Ratatouille,” “Cars” and “Monsters, Inc.”; and Domee Shi, story artist on “Inside Out.”

The rest of the “Art of Storytelling” lessons will roll out through the rest of the year. The internet classes include videos, exercises and hands-on activities to guide them from an initial idea to a final storyboard.

The first of the storytelling lessons is available now at PixarInABox.org.

It’s the third season of “Pixar in a Box” on Khan Academy, which first launched on the site in 2015. Past lessons from the studio have covered simulation, color science, virtual cameras, character modeling and rendering. Disney funds the Pixar collaboration with Khan Academy.

Information from Variety contributed to this report. 

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Anish Kapoor Awarded Prestigious $1M Genesis Prize

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The Genesis Prize Foundation announced this week that Anish Kapoor, the Turner Prize-winning artist, has been named its laureate for 2017. The annual prize recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to Jewish politics and culture, it comes with a $1 million cash prize.

Kapoor, whose mother is Jewish, has produced several major public works, the most recognizable of them being the bean-shaped Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. He also designed the Holocaust Memorial at London’s Liberal Jewish Synagogue. In 2015, for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, he designed a series of Holocaust remembrance candles.

Occasionally, Kapoor’s passions have spewed over into the world of politics. Kapoor said he will put the money from the Genesis Prize towards helping the Syrian refugee crisis, which has displaced an estimated 12.5 million people. No specific details have been announced, but Kapoor said he will make a much more elaborate presentation in June.

“The profound impact of Anish’s work continues a long history of Jewish contribution to the arts, while his social activism reaffirms the commitment of the Jewish people to humanitarian causes,” the Genesis Prize Foundation’s chairman and cofounder, Stan Polovets, said in a statement. “We particularly admire how, in an age frequently characterized by cynicism and indifference, Anish continually advocates for the world’s disadvantaged—challenging all of us to do more to help wherever and whenever we can.”

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