Raas Garba: It’s the Time to Disco!
As A-Term came to a close, the festival of lights began. Known to bring together millions of people from around the world, Diwali marks a celebration of Indian culture and the victory of light over darkness. Typically, this festival is marked by lighting diyas (candles) and garba–a dance that originated in Gujarat and acts as a way to bring everyone together on this day of happiness.
To spread the joy and prosperity of garba to the WPI community, a group of students from the South Asian Students Association (SASA) held their very own garba at Alden Hall on Friday, October 28th. After providing a delicious cultural dinner of naan, paneer, and gulab jamun, members of the India Society of Worcester (ISW) started off the night by showcasing their dhol drumming skills for all to dance. Many people, from all levels of experience, joined in the dance that circled around the Hindu Goddess Durga. Dances are typically barefoot, as it signifies respect for Earth through the part of the body that touches it.
Participants in the Garba included seniors and juniors from Mass Academy, to break free from the stress of finals and early applications.
“It was great to see my culture be represented among the younger populations,” said senior Rajat Baldawa.
He went on to detail his delight in seeing the balance between traditional and modern Bollywood music. This snapshot into Indian culture provided the perfect opportunity to educate on the rich background that accompanies the Hindu traditions of Garba.
Senior Svabhu Govindaraj stated that he had no previous experience with Dandiya Raas, a type of dance that uses sticks to represent the sword of Goddess Durga. However, he was able to follow along with the help of other SASA members.
Ryan Mechery, another senior, noted his contentment with the music selection at his first Garba experience. A combination of traditional Garba songs, like Dholida from Loveyatri, and dynamic Bollywood songs, like Badtameez Dil from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, gave everyone the chance to immerse themselves into the culture. People from all levels of experience came together and danced until their feet were sore.
Overall, the WPI Garba was an unforgettable experience that gave students both an outlet to connect with their Hindu roots and a break from stress through a fun-filled night. As B-Term approaches, Garba was the perfect start to another exciting term at Mass Academy.
Senior Staff Writers