Jamshedpur : The festive season is in full swing in the city as a riot of colours is splashed at the premises of Gujarati Sanatan Samaj, the oldest and apex body of the community in the city, with bright lehenga cholis, colourful dandiya sticks, thumping music and a huge spread of Gujarati delicacies.
Dressed in typical Gujarati sarees or chaniya choli, the members of the community are putting their best foot forward to show their skills in raas, garba and dandiya.
Though commercial ‘disco dandiya’, DJs and orchestra nights is being organised by several organisations but Gujarati Sanatan Samaj at Bistupur remains the ape centre of the nine-day gala event.
Ramesh Ranpara, a senior functionary of Gujarati Sanatan Samaj said that they have been organising the traditional ‘dandiya’ and ‘garba’ meets during Navratri for the members of the Gujarati community in the city from more than six decades from now. Though western culture has influenced the celebration but samaj has ensured that the rituals and customs remain the same.
“The best part of our celebration is that we have maintained the tradition and custom involved in the festival. The members of the community still look forward for our celebrations.
It’s our way to help the members of the community find a home away from home and ensure that they do not miss out on traditional practices,” noted Ranpara.
He went on to inform that samaj also organises competitions in dandiya and raas garba in different categories and the winners are felicitated on the occasion of dussehra.
Once sun sets, thousands of Navratri enthusiasts dressed in their traditional wear flock to Navratri Mandals in anticipation of fun, frolic and loads of colour.
After performing traditional rituals and paying homage to goddess Durga, crowds burst into song and dance. The delicacies of the Gujarati community- ‘gathiya’, ‘undhiyu’, ‘phaphra’ and ‘dhokla’ are also part of the traditional festival, which are served during.
“We look forward to Navratri every year. It is that time of the year when we make new friends and offer them an insight into our culture.
We also take the opportunity to display our talents,” said Payal Mehta, a school student.
Navratri marks the victory of the adishakti over demon Mahishasura after a battle which lasted nine days and nights.
In the city the celebrations are more traditional with the thrust on cultural and religious programmes with the Bengali community adding another dimension to the celebrations by organising their traditional Durga Puja.