As a child, I always loved colours, be it painting or playing. Shades of blue, hues of red, I loved mixing up colours. Holi is a festival of colours, and I have some very fond memories of this lovely festival. As a child I remember keeping a set of old clothes ready the previous night, waking up early in the morning, rubbing my arms and legs with coconut oil and getting ready by eight. Me and my friends from the neighbourhood used to play with gulal(coloured powder), pitchkari(water cannons), and water balloons. What fun days we had!

Holi is a festival, not only of colours but also a celebration of love, affection, togetherness and closeness. In our small town, it was celebrated not just by Hindus but by people of all religions. I remember sharing sweets with my friends and family.

When we came to Dubai nine years ago, we were not aware of any Holi parties until a few years back when my elder daughter insisted on going to Al Mamzar Park to celebrate Holi. I am happy that they were able to create some very fond memories for themselves here in Dubai. Now both my daughters know what this festival of colours means, how important it is to keep the spirit of this festival going, how enormous its value is and how awfully vital, it is to keep such customs alive forever. Especially when the situation around the world is not as friendly, easy going and welcoming as they used to be.

I appreciate the Dubai culture which welcomes and allows celebrations from all religions equally. People can enjoy their culture and value the culture and traditions of others. They can appreciate their beliefs and get to know the significance of others.

The reader is a mother based in Dubai, UAE