The sight of the ferry line at the Maritime Building from FDR had me concerned. It was hundreds of people deep. I was sure I was going to miss the next one, possibly even the next two. I spoke about this with the woman behind me, among other things.
I learned that she was an immigrant from Equador, that she was a paper-pushing employee for Homeland Security, that she has never been to Governor’s Island and that she was going to Holi Hai festival solo because her friends bailed due to the threat of rain.
“But I heard about this festival on the radio and I am always looking for ways to celebrate diversity, so I said fine, I’ll go alone,” with an enthusiasm that was contagious.
Under her military green canvas jacket—she sported a tight-fitting baseball hat of the same color—she wore a white shirt. It was suggested to all attendees that they wear white, as it shows up the color best and makes for a more colorful experience.
Despite the line, I made the first ferry. Within 15 minutes, Manhattan was behind me; it looked beautiful with its different sized and shaped buildings cemented against the backdrop of the infinite sky.
Maybe it was because I was en-route to a festival celebrating diversity or because it was feet away from the ferry window that I was looking out of, but this was the first time that I truly saw and understood the significance of the Statue of Liberty; she seemed to emanate a ray of encouragement into the soul of the city.
Holi Hai is festival celebrated in India and Nepal; it is known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love.” The festival signifies a number of celebratory-worthy concepts, including: the arrival of spring, the victory of good over evil and colors of diversity, which was advertised around the festival as the hashtag people should use when posting photographs.
In honor of the festival and its meaning, we captioned each photo with the requested hashtag.