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Hindu Widows End Oppressive Practices

Traditionally in Hindu culture, widows are expected to renounce earthly pleasures. For the first time in decades, hundreds of widows participated in a Hindu festival in a northern town where many women become reclusive after the death of their husbands. Their participation in this Hindu festival is seen as an important symbol of resisting centuries of oppression of widows.
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Widows celebrate by throwing flowers and colored powder into the air during a Holi celebration March 24, 2013. Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India.
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Widows celebrate by throwing flowers and colored powder into the air during a Holi celebration March 24, 2013. Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India.

A widow dressed as the Hindu goddess Radha looks out from behind a curtain during a Holi celebration at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 24, 2013.
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A widow dressed as the Hindu goddess Radha looks out from behind a curtain during a Holi celebration at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 24, 2013.

Widows throw flowers into the air during a Holi celebration, March 24, 2013.
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Widows throw flowers into the air during a Holi celebration, March 24, 2013.

A widow dances in a dormitory during Holi celebrations at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, March 24, 2013.
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A widow dances in a dormitory during Holi celebrations at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, March 24, 2013.

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