By Craig Sheedy
This week there have been two holidays to celebrate, giving me a few days off work and the chance to experience some of the local culture. The first holiday was the Hindu holiday of Phagwah, which is observed in March and celebrates the triumph of good over evil as well as the arrival of spring. The celebration involves music, dancing, and lots of color! Each person wears white, and then colored chalk is used to make each person into a canvas.
Afterward was Easter weekend, with both Good Friday and also Easter Monday being a National Holiday. I was surprised to hear that on Easter Monday everyone celebrates by flying kites. In the afternoon while I was walking to the seawall to see the kites, I ran into two of the nurses from the A&E. They noticed my empty hands, and happily gave me a spare kite so that I would have my own to fly. As I approached the seawall, more and more kites came into view until there were hundreds up and down the coast. There were families everywhere with kites of all shapes, sizes and colors. I met up with a few other visiting doctors from the United States and Canada, and we spent a few hours flying kites. I have not flown a kite since I was about nine or ten years old. It was a lot of time and an afternoon I don’t think I will ever forget. What a neat tradition!