Bright colors, energy highlight Navratri Garba at Loyola

Photo by Kimberly Capagalan

By Kimberly Capagalan

Loyola University Chicago’s Hindu Students’ Organization hosted its annual Navratri Garba at Sacred Hearts School to celebrate the Goddess Durga.

Spreading awareness on Hindu religion, the Hindu Students’ organization hosted an elaborate Moroccan themed night filled with Garba dancing which included traditional folk music such as Rass, Sanedo, and Banghra. The festivity was free to Loyola students and open to the public with an admission fee.

Navratri Garba, is one of the nine nights of Devi worship celebrating Goddess Durga through folk music and dance. About four hundred participants attended the colorful and energetic religious dance festival crowding the gymnasium at Sacred Hearts School.

Colorful saris worn by the women and elegant kurtas by the men filled the room with bright colors bringing the night into full swing with traditional Indian food, lively music and dancing.

“It’s beautiful! This place is huge and the young crowd is great and the colors are amazing. Just so much energy in here,” said Pavani Merneedi, 36, a software engineer from Buffalo Grove.

People came for the religious aspects of the festivity and others came for the atmosphere and a view on what Hindu culture is about.

“I didn’t know what to expect coming here but it gives me a cultural perspective of other religions and culture,” said Benjamin Bastalla, 19, a freshman from Loyola studying political science and communication.

This was the ninth celebration that the organization has hosted and each year bringing in more participants’ from around the Chicago area. Mostly attracting students from different universities in Chicago, the high energy it brings to the festivity makes it more fun and enjoyable to attend and participate.

Rilvan Bary, 21, a student from DePaul University studying entrepreneurship said, “This is my first time attending and I am enjoying every bit of it as I go.”

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