by Payal Shukla
On Saturday November 21st, Benedictine University’s Hindu Students’ Association hosted their annual garba. The event was held on the second floor of the Krasa student center. It was held from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
“The Garba was, in my opinion, a really great success! With our Garba being one of he last ones until the nine day festival of Navrati,” said sophomore, Aditya Kapoor, HSA event coordinator. “The HSA Board thanks every single one of our guests who came and we hope you enjoyed the food, music, and the prozes!”
Garba is a type of dance that originated in the Indian state of Gujarat. The name is derived from the Sanskirt term Garbha which means “womb” and Deep which means “a small earthenware lamp”.
Garba is a religious festival that is celebrated by Hindus during the festival of Navratri, which stands for nine nights. Navratri celebrates the good over evil. This is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India.
A picture or statue of Durga Mata, a goddess, is placed in the center, and guests dance around this veneration as a means of devotion.
“I thought it was a nice event where people of different backgrounds came to celebrate a special event commemorating a festive Hindu tradition,” said senior Hera Azim.
Like all years, this year there was food present at the event. The food included traditional Indian dishes.
“This year, we had samosa, vada pav, bhel puri, and gulab jamun on the menu,” said sophomore and public relations officer of HSA, Navjot Kaur.
The guests wore traditional Gujarati outfits to this event.
The girls wore chaniya cholis, which involves a top, a skirt, and a dupatta, which is a long piece of fabric that is draped over the shoulder. The girls’ outfits are usually very colorful, embroidered with man designs, beads and sequins.
The boys wore kurtas and sherwanis, allowing them to dance more freely.
The attendees danced in concentric circles while a DJ played traditional music. The evening began with traditional slow garba, which led up to fast garba with a faster music.
After garba was finished, the guests enjoyed a different style of music and a dance form known as dandiya raas, which also orginated in Gujarat. This form of dance involved two rows of people each dancing with wooden sticks.
“The dandiya raas was definitely my favorite part of the evening, dancing with sticks is always very fun and something I have never done before,” said senior Estefanía Perez.
The evening finished with bhangra dancing, which is a dance form that originates in the Indian state of Punjab. Guests also enjoyed glow sticks and contemporary Bollywood music was played at the very end.
To finish the night, an aarti was performed. Aarti involves the lighting of oil lamps, which are placed on silver plates and moved in circles in front of the goddess Durga Mata’s picture.
“I thought the event ran very smoothly, and the guests had a wonderful time enjoying the food and the traditional dances,” said sophomore and public relations officer of HSA, Sovmya George.
Stay tuned for HSA’s other events next semester as well as their next garba!