It is said that the greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals. And we Indians love celebrating festivals. What’s more, these celebrations are not restricted to the festivals of our religion or our faith, there are times when we celebrate festivals just because our neighbour is celebrating it. So, if you don’t know what Navratri is, let me tell you what Navratris are all about.
Dance: The very existence of Navratri is based on dancing as a form of showing our devotion for the Goddess Amba. But these days the form of dance, known as Garba, has become much more rich in texture. There are scores of songs specifically written for this occasion, there are complex patterns of dance steps that are practiced to perfection and people often start come up with their own steps in the course of the dance. Our love for Garba is so much that we program Gujjus to start the garba at any place, anytime, as soon as they hear ‘aeeee halo’.
Fashion: Navratri is a festival with the greatest pomp and joy. Preparations begin over a month before the actual festival, including shopping. Everyone brings new Ghaghra Cholis and revamps the old one. Teenagers are often seen sporting their mom’s antique jewelry. And this is just a fraction of the dressing up. There are bindis, dupattas, makeup and footwear for taking care. People put as much effort in dressing up as for a wedding.
Socialize: Navratri means a free license to socialize and mingle without getting disapproving stares from that judgmental aunt. Going out to do garba is something like going to a club to party. We make new friends and often meet old ones. After all, there’s nothing like dancing to bring people together, is it?
This ladies and gentlemen, is Navratri in all its glory for you.