ICA Hosts annual Garba to celebrate Navratri


Yamuni Kaijumi

Loud festive music, traditional folk dancing, and brightly colored clothes filled the North Penn gymnasium

TOWAMENCIN – Crowds of young students dressed in brightly colored Chaniya Cholis and Kurtas piled into the North Penn gymnasium on October 21st 2022 to celebrate Garba hosted by the Indian Cultural Association (ICA). 

Garba is a traditional Indian dance that celebrates the femine form of divinity. It is preformed during Navratri a Indian holiday to celebrate Goddess Durga. Those who participate in Garba dance in a circular motion with their arms sweeping from side to side. At first dancing starts of slow, but throughout the night it increases in speed.  

To organize big events such as Garba requires tremendous effort from the community, students, and volunteers.

“We started planning right from our first meeting…From decorations, food donations, planning the schedule for the night, and organizing volunteers. There has been a tremendous amount of planning,” ICA co-advisor Ms. Sue Daywalt explained. 

Garba is slightly different this year than in previous years, with the addition of a 360 video motion recording booth.

Students of all different cultural and ethnic backgrounds join in each year, in the NPHS Garba celebration. (Yamuni Kaijumi )

“Garba has Indian food not just donated from the parents but also we reached out to local restaurants and they were willing to donate us food…We have a 360 video motion recording booth. We also have mehndi and at the end we have a special Bollywood segment,” ICA President Yash Prabhu said. 

Members of the ICA express gratitude for the community’s support they received when attempting to host Garba, as well as the sense of belonging that this event provides for Indian students.

“It feels really good to see so many of my friends out here supporting my culture because I know in this area even though there are a few Indian people there is not a big population. So it feels very nice to see the community out here supporting us and celebrating with us,” Vice President Saanvi Patel added.  

Garba is open to all students, regardless of membership.

“I think it’s incredible. People coming together. It’s a diverse event and it’s open to everyone. I feel a lot of love, joy, and fun,” Assistant Principal, Dr. Bill Carlin expressed.