Mingling and matching steps

Mingling and matching steps

Navaratri is on in full swing and nightouts for many Bangaloreans have taken a whole new form in the last couple of days. So, instead of the local pubs, many people will be making use of the weekend and heading out to the popular dandiya events in huge groups.

These events are a large part of the celebrations — they have music and dancing and nothing can stop Bangaloreans from having fun there.

Many tell Metrolife that the season brings a welcome change, giving them a chance to blend tradition with modernity. Preparations for such events are very detailed, with organisers ensuring the nine days are packed with high-voltage performances and that everyone who comes for these events goes back happy. Be it in terms of food, music or even ensuring the safety of the people who come, organisers have left no stone unturned.

Various events have been lined up in the City as usual. The ‘Sri Bangalore Vaishnav Samaj Charitable Trust’ has organised the annual Dandiya Ras at the Palace Grounds — easily among the most popular dandiya destinations. Rohit Patel, from the trust, says, “We have anywhere between 200 and 400 people come every day. We are showcasing a bit of our culture and tradition to the people in the City.” This hugely popular event is open to all and entry is free.

The ‘Samyukta Gujarati Samaj’ is also organising dandiya and garba at the Sardar Patel Bhavan, Vasanthanagar. Ashwin Raja, secretary, ‘Jayanagar Samyukta Mandal’, promises that the event this year will be grand.

“This is our 37th Navaratri and it is becoming bigger every year,” he says.  Apart from these major events, there are community celebrations as well. Twinkle, who lives in an apartment in National Games Village, says that there are dandiya and garba celebrations planned in her colony too. “There is an orchestra and even good Gujarati food. It is mainly an occasion for people to come together and mingle,” she adds.  The festive spirit is celebrated by people of different communities. In fact, Ankit, a student who is a Punjabi, says that he has been heading out to Palace Grounds with his friends for the dandiya events.

“It’s all about having fun with the entire gang. There is always an idol of the goddess in the middle and the night begins with the garba. Then, slowly, people start playing dandiya. Some of them do really complicated steps. But we all stick to the six-count dandiya form, which is very basic,” he explains.

Most of the venues even hold competitions for the best-dressed person, or dandiya competitions as well. “These competitions are actually taken very seriously. People practise beforehand and dance for hours together. But I generally go there to have fun and enjoy the festivities,” sums up Ankita, a student.

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