Navratri festival celebrates community through traditional dancing, food, music

In a spectacular celebration that illuminated our college campus, the spirit of Navratri on 20th October took center stage at the Gregg Pavillion. The celebration enveloped the audience in the enchanting embrace of tradition and festivity. The rhythmic beats of dandiya sticks and the twirl of vibrant traditional lehengas created a mosaic of joy, laughter and cultural fusion. The event’s organizing committee, along with the support of Spiritual Life, IME, ASU and ISLC office, orchestrated an unforgettable Garba event that brought students from diverse backgrounds together in a night of celebration.

Navratri is a nine-night celebration in India, pulsating with vibrant colors and rhythmic dances, dedicated to Goddess Durga. As the sun sets, communities unite in joyous revelry, engaging in energetic dandiya and garba. The festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, with drum beats echoing this cosmic dance of creation and destruction. Temples adorned, incense wafting, and hearts connected, Navratri epitomizes faith and festivity, a radiant tapestry of spirituality and togetherness.

That evening at Gregg began with many sounds of traditional Gujarati music blending seamlessly with the most vibrant Bollywood beats, setting the stage for an unforgettable experience that is surely etched in the collective memory of our college community. The diverse range of music catered to varied tastes, ensuring everyone found a rhythm to sway to. 

Dressed in bright and shining colors, students adorned themselves in a visual feast that highlighted the rich diversity of South Asia. Gorgeous reds, dazzling greens and royal blues swirled together in a vibrant dance of celebration against the backdrop of the night, creating a spectacle of unity and joy.

The organizing team spared no effort in transforming the college grounds into a festive haven. Strings of twinkling lights and the floral rangoli in the center infused the atmosphere with a sense of reverence for the occasion. The hall became a melting pot of tradition and modernity, where the rich tapestry of Navratri came alive.

Sainaa Uppal ’27, a first-year student who attended the event, described the Garba celebration as a burst of energy. 

“As someone who grew up celebrating Navratri, participat(ing) in such a vibrant celebration away from home made me feel connected to my roots. My favorite part was seeing people dance with all joy and happiness,” Uppal said.

Amartya Pandey ’27, another first-year student from India, expressed his joy and found the event lively. 

“I’ve never been much into traditional dance, but the Garba event was fun,” he said. “The atmosphere was infectious and a great way (to) release academic stress and connect with my friends. It’s moments like these that make college life memorable. The colorful clothes, good Bollywood music, and delicious food made me feel at home.”

The Garba event transcended beyond a celebration of dance and food; it served as a platform for cultural exchange and understanding. In the midst of the lively beats and swirling colors, students from various backgrounds seized the opportunity to learn about each other’s traditions, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie that transcended cultural boundaries.

Saleth Sierra Lovo ’27, blended herself in the colors of the festival, describing the event as an euphoric experience. 

“I had a great time because even though I didn’t know the steps, there was a workshop happening. Therefore, I learned a new dance style and really enjoyed it,” she said. “My favorite thing was wearing the bindi and trying the Kurta for the first time. I love (the) song Saki-Saki now.”

The event organizers, Nisha Pathak ’26 and Ela Gore ’26, were delighted by the positive response from the community and enjoyed putting every aspect of the event together. 

“Being part of the organizing committee for the Garba event was a rewarding experience,” Pathak said. “It was fun organizing; we weren’t expecting so many people. We were only expecting desis, but eventually, we had a diverse community joining us. It was a typical dance form. However, people were so willing to learn, and we had a fun time seeing everyone enjoy our culture. We were dancing in the circle and other people joined us. They were doing the steps really well.”

As the night unfolded, it became evident that the Garba celebration was not just a cultural event but a celebration of diversity and unity at LC. The joyous laughter, infectious energy and rhythmic beats of Garba created an unforgettable atmosphere that will linger in our memories long after the echoes of the music have faded away. The Garba event served as a testament to the richness of our college experience, a celebration that transcended cultural differences and brought us together in a shared moment of joy and camaraderie.

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