You may have seen signs on Sproul last week advertising tickets to the Indian Student Association, Hindu Students Council and Indus club’s Raas Garba. The event was held this past Friday, Oct. 12, in Pauley Ballroom. Swarms of people showed up, since you really don’t have to be Indian to enjoy this night of music and dancing.
The ballroom was filled with people dressed to impress in their finest cultural getups: traditional saris, shalwar kameez and lehengas as far as the eye could see. Friends and roommates of the subcontinent’s community came out, too, borrowing outfits or pulling out their own get-ups for the festivities. Workshops had been held earlier in the week teaching people the steps to these traditional dances, but there were those who had no clue what to do. However, it was pretty easy to pick up, and once you got the hang of it you found yourself whirling around with the best of them.
Raas and Garba are Gujarati folk dances mainly performed at religious festivals and weddings but have also become popularized in everyday life. Garba includes a short series of steps performed repetitively, which last Friday resulted in a huge circle of people bumping into each other in merry chaos. Raas is performed in pairs with dandiya sticks in each hand. This proved slightly less chaos, but people still ended up losing partners and pairing up with strangers to stay in the game. There were of course experts scoffing lightly at the inexperienced, but this was rare, and all were welcomed. Don’t know the steps yet? Come on, we’ll teach you. Don’t know what the heck to do with these sticks? There’s a group in the corner there learning together.
There were even snacks like samosas to purchase when a break was badly needed from all the twirling and excitement. With food, colorful clothes, vibrant music and tons of dancing, it was an event to leave everyone smiling. If you didn’t catch it this year, check it out next year. It’s an annual event and one that would be great to experience at least once during your time at Cal.
Image source: FrenchKheldar under Creative Commons
Tags:berkeley events, campus events, dance, Hindu Students Council, Indus, ISAB, Raas Garba
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