The following piece, written by Nirali Kansara (Class of 2023), showcases Darden’s Garba celebration which took place on September 29th, 2022. The Garba celebration was organized and presented by the Darden South Asia Society and the Darden Dance Club. 

By Nirali Kansara (President of DSAS)

Navratri, Sanskrit for ‘nine nights’, is a major festival celebrated across India and Nepal, which signifies the victory of good over evil. While it is celebrated in West India as Navratri, it takes a different form in East India as Durga Puja, worshipping Goddess Durga. This year it will be observed from 26th September to 5th October. Garba is a folk dance originating in Gujarat, where I am from. I do not remember ever learning it formally, I would observe and imitate my mother, aunts, and uncles dancing to the tunes, and that is how I learned it. I loved to dress up in our bright and colorful ethnic wear and show off a different outfit each night. Over the years, this has been the most awaited festival for me, irrespective of how far away I was from home. I truly believe that dance and music have no cultural barriers, and I have always taken pride in sharing this part of my culture with everyone around me.

Garba is traditionally danced in bright and colorful cultural attire.

This year, Darden South Asia Society collaborated with Dance Club to host a Garba-themed cold call on 29th September, the fourth day of the festival, where we had great South Asian food and drinks, and later opened it up for everyone to dance. We also hosted a workshop the weekend before to teach the basics of Garba and Dandiya. The response from the Darden community was very heartwarming, and it was great to see everyone come together and celebrate with us.

See pictures below for additional highlights from the night.