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  • Writer's pictureVaishali A. Patel


Updated: May 3, 2021

Not sure how the word dance was originated but I think it has to be from the core of someone’s being. When they felt overjoyed or super duper sad or when something stirred inside them that they needed to express maybe they heard great music and all of a sudden their body just started moving by itself. Without dance life would be stagnant. Dance and music go hand-in-hand. If you watch creatures in nature they too have their own kind of dance happening. You can call it playing, movement, exercise or any other name that connects with you.

In India you hear the mention of “Gujarati” and you associate it with “Garba or Dandiya”. Although Gujarati culture and people are a lot more than Dandiya (the stick dance performed unique to the state of Gujarat) and Garba (group dancing in circles in Gujarat). This dance form is unique to this state and boy is it fun! This is the most favorite part of our culture for all those born away and living in foreign countries. This is where mainly ladies but also men as well get to show off their beautiful clothing and see friends they have not seen for a while, eat yummy Gujarati foods during the break and dance into the wee hours of the night.

Women’s clothing worn during Navratri (this is the nine-day festival for goddess Durga when Garba is performed for nine straight nights) is known as chants chori. This is a three-piece attire with a short blouse, skirt and a long scarf to wrap around with some midriff showing.

Men normally dawn their Kediya (traditional Gujarati male outfit) or nowadays they prefer simple Kurta tops with jeans.

For many Garba (which literally means from the womb, where the birth of all good things comes from) can be a very spiritual practice as they continually go around the circle clapping for 2-3 hours straight almost in a trance like stage, chanting songs of Goddess Durga. This festival is normally in the month of October.

Find where he next Garba is being hosted in your area and get your dancing on!

Here is an expression many Gujarati  people use to invite others, literally meaning lets go, come along…


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