Namaste introduces annual Garba celebration


Laura Zhang

Students wear Indian clothing and dance together in circles at Namaste’s Garba celebration. “I really liked the dancing since it was pretty chaotic. Sometimes people would be scrambling to get to the next move, but it was fine because you could lose yourself in the music. You really got to enjoy yourself since the movements were energetic,” sophomore Neha Asuri said.

Laura Zhang, Staff Writer

Dressed in brightly colored Cholis and Kurtas, students danced and spun dandiya sticks to energetic Indian music at Namaste’s first ever Garba celebration. The event brought together over 150 students for an afternoon of dancing, food, and cultural enjoyment during both eighth period blocks on Friday, Oct. 22.

Garba is a dance performed to mark the end of Navratri, an Indian festival that honors the Hindu goddess Durga and her victory over a demon king. Along with Garba, attendees also performed Raas, a similar form of dance that uses dandiya sticks.

“We do Diwali and Holi, but we wanted to bring something else this year. Navratri has always been a big thing for Hindus, so we decided that holding a Garba celebration would be a good idea,” Namaste Vice President and senior Akanksh Sahu said.

The event allowed attendees to connect with Jefferson’s vibrant Indian community by dancing with one another.

“Dancing and seeing everyone else dance with you was definitely my favorite part. Just being able to experience the Indian culture at TJ during the school day was really cool,” sophomore Neha Asuri said. 

Students performed the dance in two circles, with the outer circle copying the inner circle. Participants moved around in a continuous fashion while clapping and performing upbeat arm motions.

“We formed a circle of around 60 people, and everyone was doing or trying to do the dance together,” sophomore Shriya Sahu said. “There was loud music blasting, and it felt like we were actually in India because of the environment.”

Another aspect that enhanced the experience was the lively attire, as many students decided to wear traditional Indian clothing throughout the school day as part of the celebration. 

“It was so much fun to wear traditional clothes to school. I was surprised that most people were dressed in cultural clothes, but it was really nice to see people in school dressing up out of their own will,” Shriya Sahu said.

Although this is only the first time that Namaste has hosted a Garba dance, Akanksh Sahu is optimistic that it will become an annual occurrence and join the ranks of other beloved Namaste events.

“We hope to hold more Garba celebrations in the future and make it a tradition like I-Nite and Diwali. We want to make it a big event for TJ every year,” Akanksh Sahu said.