Best Place to Do Indian Dance and Possibly Get Married Off to Someone’s Daughter

Navratri Garba

Thanks to Slumdog, Madonna, and Shah Rukh Khan eclipsing Jesus in world
popularity, all things India are finally trendy. But while Bollywood
dance is all well and good (essentially hip-hop with a few arm
movements stolen from folk and classical Indian dance), you can get in
touch with your brown side authentically at CSU Hayward’s
Garba folk dance. Thrown over consecutive weekends by the
Gujarati Cultural Association of the Bay Area, usually the first week
of October, the event transforms a basketball gym into a skipping,
hopping, swirling mass of color. Young and old, male and female gather
in their newest salwar kameez finery to twirl in giant circles,
keeping the beat with bare feet and hand claps. The “Raas” version
of the dance gives you dandiyas, colorful dancing sticks that
you hit against another dancer’s. It’s all in celebration of the
nine-day Navratri festival, but watch out for the knowing eyes of the
Indian moms; if you’ve got your Garba groove on, look good in
traditional wear, and have a master’s degree, you may well find
yourself the object of their matchmaking desire.

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