HAPPY HOLI WITH NO COLORS

Holi is the most exciting of all the Indian festivals, for adults and children alike. While the color blast is sure to lift your spirits, the celebration can get really messy! Also, with all the water conservation issues lately, I think people are looking at more options to celebrate Holi in a unique way avoiding colors in the first place. Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways in which you can have fun and celebrate the festival of colors in an eco-friendly manner. If you are not looking forward to Holi because of the colors, here are 7 other reasons you can create for yourselves to enjoy the festival –

  1. The Décor : Festive décor is a must for the right vibes around any festival. Go for simple props as a display e.g gulal in chai glasses – It will set the mood at the entrance itself. You can string up bright balloons and paper ribbons all around. Colorful flowers will further add to the life of the occasion.
  2. Food, food and more food : Holi is associated with food as much as it is with color. Well, that’s how most Indian festivals are J If you are fond of cooking, this is the time to make some lip smacking sweets, particularly gujiyas (Sweet dumpling made with flour and stuffed with khoya). If you are fond of eating like me, the choices are never ending. I always wait for Holi to get the best of food throughout the day gorging on sweets and savories in all the meals.
  3. Colors for the kids: I am sure there would be many over protective moms like me who wouldn’t want their kids to play with colors but I am definitely not averse to the idea of introducing the concept of having fun with colors. While V is too small to even understand the art and craft, I plan to help her with few splatter cards and coloring books. Looks like fun, let’s see if she really enjoys it.
  4. Photo shoot – What a wonderful occasion to get few pictures clicked. You can make it a day to remember using a blank wall and a variety of props such as rainbow wigs, outsized sunglasses, multicolored hats, and colorful boards. Also, don’t forget a pile of masks and pouts to add to the fun.
  5. Forgive and forget – Did you know the festival of Holi is actually a day to forgive and forget, and to try and end conflicts. So, make peace amongst your groups and people you do not get along with.
  6. Chance to dress up : The traditional dress code for Holi has always been white but if you want to celebrate the festival with colors on your clothes, you can dress up in the brightest of colors and enjoy the color blast.
  7. Go for a theme: Themes in parties are always fun. A good theme can take a boring gathering to a legendary party.Go for funky themes or a floral theme where the décor to your dresses, everything is filled with flowers. Never underestimate the power that bunches of colorful fresh flowers wield.

Hope you enjoy Holi the way you like.HAPPY HOLI , guys!:)

Learning from Homestay Hosts!

‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ is an ancient line that comes from the Hindu Scriptures which speaks about how a guest is equivalent to God. While this is practiced widely in India, we got to experience the flavor of it in our Paris Trip where we decided to stay with the host family through a popular home stay website. While the option is far more economic compared to a hotel stay, the experience is unmatched. In most occasions, you will find the hosts being extremely enthusiastic about letting out their place. They won’t behave like they are just temporary landlords who are handing over their keys to you. They are in the true spirit, cultural ambassadors proud of the place they’re from, sharing their homes and offering a unique experience in the city you have come visiting. We as a couple had a ball in not just Paris but different cities of UK and Europe staying in various apartments where we met extremely generous and fun loving hosts. We have been picking up our learning from each of the experiences.Here are few pictures from the home stay at Paris.

IMG_5514

A reading corner is my favorite, everywhere I go!IMG_5513

 

Let me just share my top 7 points on being a good host and why you should consider hosting your space to guests –

  1. How to be accepting – No matter how different your cultures and languages might be, there is always something common to strike a chord with and this is a great platform to explore that. Similarly, you also learn to respect each others’ differences, either way it is a great way to improve the quality of accepting people around you.
  2. How to respect individual space – When you are letting out your house to strangers, you have to place hundred percent trust on them and it is not easy. So, that itself is a huge task to complete before you step out to become a host. As guests in our homestays, we felt completely at home particularly in the magnificent modern apartment of Paris only for the reason that the hosts gave us our space all through the day yet made sure to join us during the meals as one big family.
  3. How to be a cultural ambassador – As hosts, you can be an instant favorite if you give useful recommendations like the local pubs, the nearby restaurants, the must see places and the ones that can be skipped, the opera, the theatre and the list goes on. Funnily, it improves your knowledge of the culture of your locale.Hence, it is always wise to write to the guest beforehand and understand their interest and purpose of travel.
  4. How to exchange values – Hosting guests provides you with the opportunity to learn about a new country’s cultural and family values as much as it provides them with the same opportunity. Understanding other’s cultures teaches you to understand more about people’s personalities and attitudes towards many different aspects of life.
  5. How to make awesome food – I know it sounds funny but I have heard people say that some of the best foods they have had in their lives are with the host families they have stayed with. In our experience, the hosts would leave a generous spread of breakfast at the table every morning but they loved to cook food for supper every evening. We took this opportunity to introduce few Indian dishes to them and they absolutely loved it(minus the spices). Interestingly, one of them was Spanish, so it was a brilliant concoction of Indian, French and Spanish food that we had every evening.
  6. How to build professional network – Foreign language is a great plus for your resume if you are ready to take up an international assignment, this is a wonderful opportunity to grow your professional network .
  7. How to be passionate about simple joys of life – Hosting is possibly the most natural thing that comes to human beings, after all you must have hosted someone at some point of life – be it friends or family. Hosting a stranger can be a really rewarding experience if you leverage on this unique opportunity of making a new friend, getting to know about a new culture and possibly open a channel to your next travel to the guest’s city.

IMG_5518IMG_5521

Picture from a busy locale just outside the apartment, from fruits to flowers to pubs – everything a stone’s throw away!

The next time you think about letting out your space to a stranger, think from a positive perspective!

Happy Hosting!

Follow me on Instagram by clicking on the link below-

View this post on Instagram

Atithi devo bhava is an ancient line from the Hindu Scriptures which speaks about how a guest is equivalent to God.While this is practised widely in India,we got to experience this amazing hospitality at Marc and Xavier's place in Paris. My top 3 learnings on being a good host comes from these gentlemen- 1.How to be accepting-No matter how different our cultures and languages might be,there is always something common to strike a chord with. 2.How to give space- When you are letting out your house to strangers,you have to place hundred percent trust on them.We felt absolutely at home in this magnificent house only because they gave us our space yet joined us for meals as one big family. 3.Being a good guide – As hosts, you can be instant friends when you give useful recommendations like the local pubs,the nearby restaurants,the opera,the theatre and the list goes on.Read full story on #vogueviolet-link in bio👆 Have you ever experienced such an amazing hospitality from strangers that you can't forget the hosts? #airbnb #homestay

A post shared by 𝓥𝓸𝓰𝓾𝓮 𝓿𝓲𝓸𝓵𝓮𝓽 (@missvogueviolet) on