Penn State’s Indian Culture and Language Club celebrated Garba at the HUB-Robeson Center on Sunday night.
ICLC President Shashwat Shekhar said Garba is “one of the most popular festivals in India”.
“As you know, Hindu culture has a lot of gods and goddesses, right? Shekhar (senior IT) said. “[Garba is] celebrated to somehow strengthen the female divinity.
Shekhar said the full ceremony is celebrated over nine nights including “dancing, music, snacks, everything.”
“So here at Penn State, the ICLC is trying to recreate that feeling for the Indian community,” Shekhar said.
Freshman Avi Gottimukkala said that as a South Indian Garba was a “new experience”.
“This is my second time going to Garba,” Gottimukkala (freshman-cybersecurity) said. “So there is kind of a connection because I’m Indian, [but] I look at other cultures.
Participants checked in before entering the dimly lit alumni hall where the festivities took place. Garba fans danced in a circle around a table filled with candles, while a live band performed on stage.
In the left corner of the lobby closest to the door, breathless dancers and hungry observers could purchase Indian drinks and snacks like Frooti and Kurkure, respectively.
Junior Kaivalya Viramgama said that there are different ways to celebrate the occasion and dance.
“There isn’t just one way, but [Garba] involves a lot of circles [around the candles]. You turn around a lot, you clap, ”said Viramgama (junior bio-behavioral health). “It’s really, really fun. It might be hard to know at first, but once it’s done it’s really fun.
Gargee Gosavi told her that Garba is all about having fun with his friends and dancing, and she said that this encourages students from all walks of life at Penn State to join in future ICCL events.
“His [about] just meeting new people and wearing traditional clothes… just a fun event, ”said Gosavi (sophomore psychology student). “People who are not from the Indian nation, [should] join us and have fun with our culture.
Similar to Gosavi, Shekhar said all Penn State students should attend the next ICLC event – a Diwali festival.
“I would really like to add that the ICCL has a lot of festivals, not just Garba. So we will also have our Diwali festival in November, ”said Shekhar. “I think it’s a very good way [to get] close to the community. I really urge everyone to come and experience the culture and embrace it.
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