Posts Tagged ‘India’

They don’t call New York City the Capital of the World for nothing…Diversity is Manhattan.  When I first moved to the City, I was amazed at the foreign faces I saw and the myriad languages spoken everywhere.   Now, well I don’t even notice except when a foreign tourist is holding a guide-book or map.  After a while you come to know that (and these are somewhat generalized), most nail salons are run by Koreans, the news stands are manned by Pakistanis or Bangledehis,  the dry cleaners  seem to be Korean and tailors are often Chinese, not to mention the numerous coffee shops throughout the City owned by Greeks and Deli’s owned and run by Indians.  You can also visit the enclave neighborhoods of Jamaicans, Haitians, Italians, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Polish, German, Irish, Hispanic, Romanian, Russian, Thai, Indians and dine on the best  culinary offerings from those countries!

BUT what brings all the countries together in the City are the PARADES! There’s always a parade somewhere.  Today I’m featuring photos from an Indian Festival Parade.  The festival is HOLI;

Holi and the following day, Dhuleti, are known as the Indian Festival of Color. Playing Holi or sharing colors is a highlight of this holiday. Gifts of sweets or Holi colors are common and greeting cards are often sent.

The holiday is observed all over India and celebrates the harvest of the winter crops as it welcomes the beginning of Spring. Holi is called Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima in Bengal, Rangapanchami in Maharashtra, Kamavilas, Kaman Pandugai or Kaman-dahanam in South India.

In Northern India, the Raas-Lila dances celebrate love in the Spring and honor Radha and Krishna. In Southern India, Kamdev, the Love God, and his wife Rati are the focus of the stories and songs.

No matter which part of India the festivals are in or which gods are involved, they are feasts of color and usually involve sprinkling colored waters and gulal, brightly colored powders, on the gods and on the other revellers. Balloons filled with colored waters are splashed on friends and anyone else who happens to be near.

Holi Festival of colors, New York City, parade

Ready to Celebrate

HOLI, Festival of colors, Indian holiday, Indian parade, New York city

Even the drums are colorful

Holi,Dhuleti, New york city, parades in NY, Indian festival of colors

Incredible India

new york city, Indian parade, HOLI, Dhuleti, festival of colors


HOLI, Dhuleti, festival of colors, new york city, Indian parade

Colorful HOLI Dancers

Dhuleti, HOLI, festival of colors, New York city parade, Indian festival

Just Do What I Do

Festival of Colors

Dhuleti, Indian fesstival of colors, new york city

Jumping for Joy

All photos by Murray Head

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Texas Tech alumnus Rick Husband was the final ...

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I have lived through six decades already and I don’t remember one that had more disasters, natural and/or man-made than this past one.  These ten years were filled with tragedies brought on by mankind  and horrific natural catastrophes.  Looking back there were so  many events to choose from, that my original plan of naming 10 disasters, one for each year had to be abandoned.  So now what we have is a list of some of the most notable events in each of the Ten years – making a Decade of Disasters.



Regardless of what other catastrophes occurred during this first year of the 21st century, the only one remembered throughout the world is 9/11, the terrorist attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon and the hijacked plane which crashed in Pennsylvania.   There is no need to elaborate on the details of this man-made horror as they are indelibly engraved on the minds of every person who was age seven or older at that time.  The official death toll for that day was 3000 victims and the 19 hijackers.



March 25th an earthquake with a 6.1 magnitude struck the regions of Nahrin and Baghlian Province in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  1000 people were killed, several hundred more were injured and approximately 20,000 people were left homeless.

Arson- Civil Unrest

In February the Sabarmati Express train was attacked by a large group of Muslims in the city of Godha, India.  59 Hindu passengers, mostly women and children were burned alive.  The incident prompted widespread retaliatory massacres  on Muslims resulting in the deaths of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus and 223 missing persons.  A total of 523 places of worship were destroyed.


The Senegalese government-owned ferry, Le Joola capsized off the coast of The Gambia on September 26th.   The disaster resulted in the deaths of at least 1,863 people.  The ship was built to accommodate 580 passengers and crew.



The Columbia Space Shuttle exploded during re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere killing the 7 astronauts – it was the Shuttle’s 28th mission.  The tragedy occurred February 1st.

Also in February an arsonist sabotaged a subway train in Doegu, South Korea.  189 passengers were killed, 140 injured.

On February 18th, a fire broke out in a second floor Chicago night club.  21 people were trampled as they tried to escape the flames.


For several months in the spring of 2003, a virulent outbreak of the SARS virus affected 8,300 people and killed 755, primarily in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Heat Wave

A 3-week heat wave in May, with temperatures rising above 120 degrees killed over 1200 people in India.



Hurricane Charley was the third-named storm and second major hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season.  It lasted from August 9th to August 15th and at its peak attained 150 mph winds making it a category 4 hurricane.  The storm made landfall in southwestern Florida.  Charley also assaulted Cuba, the Dry Tortugas.  The hurricane traveled north along a northeast corridor of Florida damaging Punta Gorda, Arcadia, Sebring and Zolfo Springs to name a few. Damage to the state totaled over 13 billion dollars.


On December 26th, the day after Christmas, an undersea megathrust earthquake struck off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.  The resulting tsunami known as the Indian Ocean Tsunami or the Boxing Day Tsunami killed over 230,000 people in 14 countries and inundated coastal communities with 100 ft high waves.  Indonesia was the hardest hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.



A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Asia in October killing 73,300 people; 72,000 were in Pakistan.


The photos and TV footage could not begin to convey the scope of the tragedy when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and caused the levees to break.  It was the costliest natural disaster as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.  Overall the damage was reported to be 135 billion dollars.


Man-made – Human Error

Delta flight 5191 was a U.S. domestic passenger flight from Lexington, KY to Atlanta, GA and crashed upon take-off killing all 47 passengers and 2 of the 3 man crew.  The aircraft was assigned Runway 22 but used 26 which was too short for a plane of this size.  The sole survivor was the co-pilot who, according to the black box, was piloting the plane at that time.

Natural – Mudslides/Earthquake/Tsunami

In February a combination of continued heavy rains and a minor earthquake caused rock/debris/mudslides causing widespread damage and loss of life.  The official death toll stands at 1,126.

In July a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck Java and caused a tsunami, both events killed a total 668 people and injured 9,299.


Heat Wave

Approximately 500 people succumbed in Hungary during a week-long heat wave in July. At one point the temperature hit 107 degrees.


The storm formed in the Bay of Bengal reaching  160 mph, landed in Bangladesh on November 15th .  The estimates of fatalities varied from one agency to another; Save the Children reported the death toll to be between 5000-10,00.


After a week of torrential rains, North Korea suffered severe flooding in the southern half of the country and including the Capital.  The death toll was reported as 454, 156 missing, 4,351 injured.



Natural disaster struck in the form of 8.0 magnitude earthquake in the Sechuan Province of China killing 69, 197 people, injuring 374,176 and 18,222 listed as missing.


Myanmar suffered catastrophic destruction and at least 138,000 dead.  The government stopped reporting the death toll after it hit 138,000 to minimize political fall out.  Cyclone Nargis was the deadliest named cyclone in the North Indian Ocean Basin.

Cold Wave

The winter of 2008 was the coldest recorded in Afghanistan in 30 years.  The temperature dropped to -22 degrees and eventually killed 1300 people.



Swine Flu was responsible for the lives of over 1000 people in the United States.  The 2009  flu pandemic was a global outbreak of a new strain of the H1N1 influenza virus. A state of National Emergency was declared by President Obama once the death toll reached 1000.




Washington DC and the U.S. Eastern seaboard were paralyzed by a severe snowstorm.


In April, a massive explosion aboard an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico caused a catastrophic oil spill killing 11 people and which eventually spread to the coast of Louisiana destroying the fishing industry and killing wildlife by the thousands.

Mine Collapse

In August 33 miners became trapped in a collapsed mine.  17 days later it was discovered that they were alive in a safety chamber.  Despite 24/7 rescue efforts, the men were not rescued until October.

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