Upon hearing 'Explosion of Colour' set to be our theme for this project, Holi came to mind. For those of you that don't know, Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus, as a festival of colours. It is primarily observed in India, but as the year passes - various other countries have taken the moment to celebrate this festival.
Now, onto the main story. I didn't just chose to base my concept around 'Holi' because it was convenient, I chose it, because it was a challenge, a hurdle I had to face, for myself. For many years now, I've constantly tried to run away from my origins, avoid the culture and essentially 'lied' to myself about my own history. I was that kid who was ashamed to be 'different', I believed that because I was born on European soil, that I was European and my Sri Lankan origins would fade away.
But then one day, my uncle snapped at me and asked me 'Why are you so ashamed to be Tamil?' - my answer was simple, we were nobody. Most people didn't know what 'Tamil' was, or where it came from, as of 2013, we don't really have a country that we call a 'home' and there was nobody successful who had Tamil background (at least to my knowledge.) And although I denied being ashamed to be Tamil, deep down I knew, that I was embarrassed and so that was my turning point, for the next week to come - all I did was research about our origin and our background. Did you know that "Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world" or that is has "one of the richest literatures in the world", I sure didn't. Or how many have fought and given their lives to preserve this culture, this history, this civilisation!
And so I realised, although it was nineteen years late - that we were something! Everyone has a history, and everyone should be proud of who they are. Don't deny your past, because it's not what's considered the 'norm' or 'cool', learn about it, acknowledge and accept it! Yes, we weren't as successful as other nations, and a lot of our population is still stuck in poverty, but that doesn't mean we should adopt a new identity and forget our beginnings. And so me choosing to use Holi as my main concept, is me saying to everyone - yes I'm Sri Lankan. Yes I'm Tamil. And yes I'm proud of our culture and history. And I welcome you, to take a look at our culture, however weird it might be at times … Just kidding!
On a different note, I'd like to thank everyone that was involved in the making of this video, my brother for modelling in the freezing cold while wearing next to nothing, my friend Philip Plested for assisting me and throwing the powder despite it being shot at a ridiculous time in ridiculous weather conditions. My brothers Step Brother for producing the amazing music to go along with the video and the man who's helped me discover my own culture along with editing the video Hannan Malik. Surrounding yourself with talented and passionate individuals will only fuel your desire for success, and I urge you to do so …