Jamshedpur, Sep 20: It’s Navaratri time and the steel city is getting ready to soak in a festive mood with dance, drama, music recitals and different kinds of competitions. Cultural organisations such as Gujarati Sanatan Samaj, Rotary Club and DBMS have lined up a host of cultural programmes. Navratri starts on September 26 and ends on October 5.
“Garba and dandiya during Navaratri have been a norm within the Gujarati community. Before the pandemic, we used to dress up in colourful attires and dance. But in the past two years no such events were organised. But this year a lot of activities have been lined up,” says Sejal Patel, a member of the Gujarati community.
Officials of Gujarati Sanatan Samaj said that die-hard Navratri revellers will take part in various competitions that are slated during the festival. These range from best male and female dancers, best costumes, best steps, etc for which prizes are given.
“Such is the rage of the festival that many even travel to Gujarat weeks before the festival to buy the costumes and jewellery worth for the season but we have asked the members to keep the festival simple,” said a senior functionary.
Gujarati people follow typical rituals by getting ‘Garbo’ which is a small pot made up of sand very well decorated with colors and other decorative stuff and call it ‘Mataji’ which means Goddess named ‘Ambema’. As Gujarati’s keep a small ‘Diva’ (Small Candle type Fire light) inside the ‘Garbo’ which has several holes inside for air ventilation.
The Gujarati Sanatan Samaj, which is celebrating navratri for the past more than 90 years, have started their preparations in full vigour. The young and the old now look forward to every navratri night where they match their dandiya steps with their friends and relatives. For more than eight decades later, the passion is still the same, right from the rehearsals that started today.
“Every year we have a different theme and this year groups have decided to showcase the rich Hindu culture. The year is special as it is Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,” said a member of the Gujarati Sanatan Samaj.
This apart Ras Garba and dandiya would be an everyday feature. Free style garba and dandiya still holds a strong place apart from the rituals of ‘kumbh sthapana’. In the evening ladies start playing the traditional garba. About 16 teams and 700 participants will be performing in the nine-day fest.
On the other hand Sri Surat Gujrati Samaj is also organising Ras Garba and dandiya at the Jalaram temple in Bistupur. Men and women perform garba and dandiya that starts at 9 at night. Here prasad is also distributed to the visitors.