Arts & Entertainment

Navratri Garba Draws Thousands To South Brunswick During Weekend

2434165d1b5b67ee8938_a6f4e45c5dc6fd6b6265_IMG_1588.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
e2b2d57d5609c01f5861_08d98db09339b1bc7cce_IMG_1562.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
523fc40b9a379d1876a8_4c3f4fbda31e3a39c07c_IMG_1564.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
a55a940a31aedb5ae047_IMG_1566.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
10afbdcfb012d6022b06_IMG_1569.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
76c02e6750b4d309c4f9_IMG_1576.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
8a8589d0347ccb48a917_IMG_1582.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
ea1492cb435ce47a847a_IMG_1591.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
436f49580998a6cc2b7a_IMG_1594.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
51b7bf17998e69ccf1fb_IMG_1597.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
52b504c254386ff58173_IMG_1598.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
09a9b62018f4bfb7a2df_IMG_1602.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
84f2d24096d0105df280_IMG_1603.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
bd864cbd8310a7a303fb_IMG_1608.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
cc9b615f0bb1f94b48d3_IMG_1614.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
566314a22e71fe9476ba_IMG_1616.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
ae8725216cc532aede60_IMG_1621.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
ce8832a85919628c2dcb_IMG_1635.JPG
Credits: Charles W. Kim
2434165d1b5b67ee8938_a6f4e45c5dc6fd6b6265_IMG_1588.JPG

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – More than 3,000 people attended the middle weekend of the Navratri Garba celebration at Crossroads South Middle School in Monmouth Junction.

The township-based Indo-American Cultural Foundation of New Jersey (IACFNJ) sponsors the Hindu holiday festival, which includes several nights of cultural dancing.

“The IACFNJ has been in the community for the last 15 years,” IACFNJ Vice President Dr. Tushar Patel said Friday night. “We have been holding this Garba in South Brunswick for the last 10 years.”

Sign Up for E-News

The organization, which started in 1997 to help bring India’s culture to the community, said the Navratri celebration marks the festival of nine nights during which Hindus worship Goddess of Shakti Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

Hindus believe the Goddess Durga destroys all the evil propensities lurking the minds of her devotees, Goddess Lakshmi implants divine qualities in the devotee’s minds and Goddess Saraswati bestows true knowledge to her devotees.

The 10th day, also known as Vijay Dashami, commemorates the victory of good over evil.

Navratri, as the name suggests, means nine nights, and is one of the important Hindu festivals, according to the organization.

It is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, the deity of Power.

Each of the days of the nine-day festival are dedicated to the worship of different forms of Goddess Durga, which unfolds the religious importance of the occasion, according to the group.

The festival itself includes hours of Indian cultural music and dancing.

The first four nights were celebrated at the Crossroads South Middle School on Major Road, with the final night, Oct. 31, scheduled for the high school on Ridge Road.

Patel said the crowds attending the event so far this year were “record breaking.”

IACFNJ Executive Committee member Mac Shah said that 1,500-2,000 people were expected to attend each night of the festival.

“The crowd is fantastic,” Shah said. “People are enjoying (the festival).”

FULL VIDEO REPORT:

Shah said having a number of non-Indian, or Desi, people attending follows the mission of the IACFNJ, which includes bringing the culture to not only those who are connected to Southern Asia, but to the community as a whole.

“We try to merge (our cultural heritage) not just with our community, but other communities as well,” Shah said. “So everyone can understand where the concerns are coming from.”

The evening provides a fun night out, and non-Indian people are encouraged to come to the next night at the high school, even if they are worried about learning the dances.

“We would be happy to show them,” Shah said.

One of the fascinating aspects of watching the celebration is seeing the floor full of dancers swinging and twirling in two different directions without bumping into each other.

Shah said that the cultural dances start to be learned at a young age, even at two or three-years old.

Others start later and can still pick them up rather quickly.

Genie Kothamraju, 18, of Monmouth Junction said she started learning the dances at around 14, and attends the event each year with her family.

“I want to keep participating,” Kothamraju said. “It’s a lot of fun. I can’t see why anybody wouldn’t want to do it.”

Kothamraju brought a fellow Rutgers student and friend, Morgan Ulery, also 18, from Asbury Park.

“You feel like you’re part of something bigger,” Ulery said of her first Navratri experience. “I really like it.”

The last night of the festival will be celebrated from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the high school next Saturday night, Shah said.

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at ckim@tapinto.net or nwells@tapinto.net.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our Facebook Page!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

A Call for Artists, Artisans and Artisan Farm Market Vendors for East Brunswick’s 16th Annual Art and Music Festival

April 26, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Township of East Brunswick, Department of Recreation & Parks and the East Brunswick Arts Commission will sponsor the 16th Annual East Brunswick Art & Music Festival – an outdoor juried show of fine art and fine handmade crafts – on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The daylong event is planned to provide artists with a venue to ...

Relief for Somerville Neighborhood: New DMV Office To Open in So. Plainfield May 14

April 25, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The new Department of Motor Vehicles Office in South Plainfield is scheduled to open May 14 -  not a day too soon for residents who live in the neighborhood adjacent to the local DMV office on Roosevelt Place.

B. Sue Fulton, the newly-sworn director of the state DMV visited the Somerville facility Saturday at the  invitation of state Sen. Christopher Kip ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 28, 10:00 AM

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, East Brunswick

East Brunswick Community Preparedness & Awareness ...

Wed, May 2, 6:00 PM

New Providence

Our Lady of Peace Country Fair

Thu, May 3, 6:00 PM

New Providence

Our Lady of Peace Country Fair

East Brunswick Ward Of Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints To Hold Community Preparedness & Awareness Event

April 26, 2018

The East Brunswick Community Preparedness & Awareness Event is free to local residents
interested in planning for major life events and becoming more self-sufficient during natural
disasters and other emergencies. The event will take place Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. until
2:00 p.m. at 303 Dunhams Corner Road in East Brunswick, sponsored by the East Brunswick
Ward of The Church of ...

Regional Travel Update - Gov. Murphy Announces Proposed NJTransit Funding Increase

April 26, 2018

Newark, NJ – Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday spread a message of hope regarding future improvements to NJTransit services and infrastructure due to a proposed $242 million increase in funding for NJTransit for the 2019 fiscal year. 

At a press conference held at NJTransit’s Central Maintenance Facility on Doremus Avenue in Newark, Murphy, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, and other ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...