Holi in South Korea – A Global Fervour!


By: Deepan Dutta Chowdhury (LT MHPS)

Pleasant memories last a lifetime.

Holi celebration in Seoul
Holi celebration in Seoul

Last year, at Busan – one of the happening places in South Korea – is one of such memories. I was on an official trip which coincided with Holi. Busan celebrates the festival with fervour and splendour every year, amidst thousands of people across the globe.

The place was Haeundae beach, where I was accompanied by three other colleagues.

On the day of Holi, all Indians in South Korea assembled there every year to celebrate the festival of colours. The magnitude of celebration was beyond imagination. Half an hour prior to the ‘timed’ beginning of the event, three thousand odd people from across the globe had already assembled there. The sun shone generously whilst the beautiful seashore sparkled in crystal prussian blue water. As if that weren’t enough, the colourful clothes further brightened the canvas.

Imagine what more was missing? Holi special Bollywood songs played at full blast!

Then began the countdown at precisely 10:59:50 hours – 10, 9, 8… 3, 2, 1!

BANG! A FOUNTAIN of CHAMPAGNE! CRACKERS! Then the DJ…

All our well known and fun filled Bollywood songs reverberated amidst the celebrations. It seemed as if the sea and the beach had joined us in our fervour. The beach had changed its colour and took over ours.

Dancing to bollywood tunes
Dancing to bollywood tunes

After 3 hours of dance and song, and colours, this part of the celebration came to an end.

Then came the next incredible one! Everyone had to jump into the almost freezing sea! And, all the three thousand odd did so, sea water temperature of 3-4 degrees Celsius, notwithstanding.

Celebrating Holi at Haeundae beach
Celebrating Holi at Haeundae beach

I interacted with many from different parts of the globe, Canada, USA, Germany and Poland to name a few. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about their interest in our Bollywood movies. They were actually dancing to these songs, copying some steps from us, while also improvising on their own. Many of them were pursuing their education at Seoul and gathered every year at Busan at the time of Holi.

Such is the popularity of Holi there that the organisers intend to limit the entry in future!

At the end of an exhausting and remarkable evening, it was time to bid adieu to the beautiful place and an amazing group of people.

Clicks! Clicks! Holi Celebration
Clicks! Clicks! Holi Celebration

The day will remain forever as one of the best days in my life…!