The Jewish holiday of Purim often coincides with the Hindu festival of Holi, both joyous and colorful celebrations that emphasize the triumph of good over evil. India is always colorful, but on Holi, colors from saffron to vermilion reign supreme.
Enjoy this article about Holi in the Smithsonian magazine.
Below, a vendor on Jew Street in Cochin sell Holi colors.
Did you know that India is mentioned in the Bible? The Book of Esther tells us that King Ahasuerus ruled Me-Hodu ve-ád Kush...from India to Ethiopia. The Hebrew word for India is Hodu, which also means "praise God." I love that double meaning!
When you think of Purim, you probably think of groggers and hamentaschen. In India, we didn't have either of those. We stamped our feet to drown out the mention of Haman's name, and sent gifts of Middle Eastern and Indian sweets. We did, of course, read the megillah in our special trope. Above, a family heirloom megillah written on deerskin. Each page of the scroll begins with the word hamelech, the king.
We can't all be royalty, but India is always divine! Here I am dressed as an angel for Purim when I was a child in Calcutta!