Dressed in bright coloured traditional Gujarati attires, hundreds of Gurugram residents thronged a community centre of Sector 27 to mark the beginning of Navratri. Organised by Shree Gujarati Samaj Gurgaon (SGSG), which is celebrating its 14th year of Navratri in the millennium city, the ten-day long celebrations will be an occasion to reckon with.
Commenced on September 29, the Navratri celebrations will go on till October 8 showcasing the rich culture and tradition of Gujarat.
Speaking on the preparations for the festivities, Avinash Trivedi, general secretary, Shree Gujarati Samaj Gurgaon, said, “Thousands of people from Gujarati community live in different parts of the city. Our efforts are to preserve the Gujarati tradition, rituals, culture and food.”
Trivedi further said, “Every year the celebration is getting bigger and better. The best part of our celebration is that we maintained the traditional sanctity and customs of the festival.”
People of all age groups could be seen playing Garbha and Dandiya (folk dances of Gujarat), at the community centre, to the melodious traditional tunes of Gujarati songs.
Mehul Seth, executive member of SGSG said, “We have been organising the traditional garbha and dandiya during Navratri for the residents for more than a decade. Despite Western influence on our culture, our samaj (society) has ensured that the quintessential rituals and customs remained the same.”
Underlining the importance of the Navrati, Hitesh Thaker, joint secretary of SGSG said, “Navratri is a festival that has a great significance for the Gujarati community. Every year, people look forward to the Navratri as during these nine days the entire community comes together to celebrate with fervour. What's interesting is that the tradition is no longer confined to us, Gujaratis. Many non-Gujarati people also take part in the celebrations.”
The highlight of the event was live performance by a famous band from Rajkot. Besides dance and songs, people feast on the authentic Gujarat and Maharastra delicacies like gathiya, undhiyu, phaphra, dhokla, vada pav etc. Various fun-filled games and competitions were organised to keep up the festive spirit. Several shopping stalls were also set up at the venue offering Gujarati costumes, accessories and many more.
Women group of the community prepared a special performance to offer the insight of Gujarati culture. Anjali Trivedi, founder member of SGSG said, “We started the preparations for the festival three months in advance. All our cultural programmes are prepared by talented community people who made sure it reflects spectacular glimpses of Gujarati culture and tradition. This year, artists from Gurugram city and other parts of Delhi-NCR will give six special performances.”