Navratri From The Inside

Doing Garba

Doing Garba

Shaili Modi, Staff writer

Navratri is a festival where Hindus celebrate a goddess killing a demon.  The goddess is Durga and the demon is Mahishasura.  Navratri means nine nights and it lasts nine nights.  We perform garba in circles to honor the goddess Durga.

I celebrate Navratri every year and my family likes to celebrate it to the fullest.  I wear the shiniest, most beautiful Indian earnings, and I do amazing makeup and my hair.  I wear clothes called chaniya cholis, basically a skirt with a top but the thing that makes chainya cholis so special is the dupatta and the amazing embroidery on the whole outfit.  I get mine from India, either when I go to India I’ll pick it out or my grandparents will send them here in a package.  The design work on a chaniya choli is amazing and the dupatta is always beautiful.

Every year I look forward to not just getting ready but dancing until I cannot feel my feet anymore.  Garba is done in circles around the goddess so there are circles closer to the goddess and then more circles on the outside.  Typically there are at least 7-8 circles of people doing garba.   Normally, the circles towards the outside are slower and the ones in the middle are faster.  I usually dance in the inner circles cause I prefer fast garba.

The cool thing about garba is that there isn’t just one way to do it, there is be taali and tran taali as well as raas.  All of them can be done fast or slow depending on the song that is playing.

In addition, the food at garba is to die for.  The pani puri is really good, you will just want to keep eating and not stop.  The papadi no lot is beyond amazing; they make it hot and steamy and add the perfect stuff to it.

Honestly, garba in all is such a surreal experience.  Navratri is one of my favorite Hindu festivals and I’m very lucky to be able to celebrate it they way my family does.