Sanedo! Sanedo! Lal lal Sanedo….the song echoed at ISW’s Garba events on September 30th and October 1st 2022.
The community came together to celebrate the feminine form of divinity Maa Durga and danced to the family favorite tune of Sanedo. Men and women in their most colorful and beautiful Kurtas and Chaniya Cholis sprung up from their spots and landed spinning, dancing with swift turns, swinging arms and short, energetic hops on the Sanedo beat.
Every year ISW celebrates the spirit of Navratri by honoring, worshiping, and celebrating the Hindu deity Maa Durga (also known as Maa Shakti). This year as well, ISW celebrated 2 nights of Navratri Garba. Friday night had live traditional garba music by Jhankar, and Saturday night was foot tapping music by DJ Rohann. Both nights were truly breathtaking! There was not a dull moment. Everything from the music played to the enthusiasm of people from various cultural backgrounds constantly hopping and skipping in concentric circles on Garba songs.
Garba night is incomplete without Maa Durga’s Aarti. ISW’s committee executed this in the most traditional way; on Friday by worshiping Durga Idol in India Center; and on Saturday, by worshiping the clay lantern with a light inside, called a garbha deep ("womb lamp"). The vessel itself is a symbol of the body, within whom divinity (in the form of the Goddess or Devi) resides. Garba is danced around this symbol to honor the fact that all humans have the divine energy of Devi within them. And the circles symbolize the cycle of life.
What kept the bazaar vibe going was traditional vendors and delicious Indian food.
Many of us have grown up in India playing garba every year for Navratri. ISW’s Garba events rekindle the joy of playing garba here in the United States and recreate the same energy and vibe far away from homeland. The best part is that we are sharing that culture with our younger generation who were seen having as much fun as anyone else.
ISW would like to thank all our volunteers for helping us organize such amazing dandiya nights. And we would like to thank YOU, our community at large, for coming to celebrate with us.
written by Sonam Ahuja and Amita Rao
ISW Cultural Committee Members