The discussion around diversity in Hollywood is often divided into black and white, but on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Priyanka Chopra reminded us why it’s important to embrace all cultures and colours.
The Quantico actress, 34, who transitioned from Bollywood to Hollywood (much to the excitement of her millions of fans), sat down with the late-night host and admitted she was feeling a bit homesick for India, particularly since she was missing the festival of Holi.
Wait, an important Indian cultural festival just got mentioned on a mainstream non-Indian talk show?
*Cue collective cheer from Indian audiences around the world*
To see an Indian actress go on national U.S. television and share photos about a festival so near and dear to billions of Indians around the world is a huge moment.
“It looks like a rave,” said Jimmy Fallon, after seeing one of the photographs of bursts of coloured powder being thrown over a crowd. That’s likely because the idea of covering people in coloured powders has become culturally appropriated as a party theme, now associated with things like The Colour Run, Colour Me Rad, Coldplay’s “Hymn For the Weekend” video and various Holi-themed music fests that have nothing to do with the actual festival.
But as Chopra explains, this holiday is about more than a great Insta opp. The two-day festival, which took place this year on March 12 and 13, represents the triumph of good over evil in Hindu mythology and also marks the beginning of spring. In India, and around the world, Holi is celebrated by covering each other with coloured powder and in some cases, indulging in a special drink called Thandai, which mixes spices, milk and edible cannabis.
— Kumar (@Kumar_Kaif) March 14, 2017
Chopra’s interview not only mentions the Hindu cultural festival, but explains its significance, its traditions and literally invites/forces Fallon to partake. The clip is a little more than two minutes, but it is a milestone for celebrating cultural differences—which can truly happen when Hollywood is comprised of culturally diverse individuals.
As Chopra and Fallon turned to the camera, covered in paint, and wished viewers a “Happy Holi!” it showed what bringing a little colour to Hollywood can do.