Indian community dances the night away

October 27, 2010 — by Apeksha Sharma

Brightly colored clothing and loud traditional Indian music filled the Redwood Middle School gym as dozens of members of Saratoga’s Indian community gathered to participate in a traditional dance called Dandiya on Oct. 15.

Dandiya, also referred to as Garba, is a playful dance that embodies the devotion the people have for their God. Senior Kaitna Shankar was one of the organizers who put the event together, which attracted many SHS students.

“The event took place to get away from the stresses of daily life and to have fun and dance together,” said Shankar.

The night also lent a helpful hand to the senior citizens in Saratoga.

“[We] had fun together and danced, and we donated proceeds to Saratoga Area Senior Council (SASC),” said Shankar.

Senior Shir Nehama found herself having a good time at the event.

“What I liked the most about the Dandiya event was that I got exposed and learned about the traditional Indian dance,” said Nehama. “Everyone seemed so cheerful to get to spend time with their friends and family.”

The event also served as a dedication to the late Susie Nagpal, a former Saratoga City Council member who started the idea for the dance a year ago and passed away from cancer last spring.

“She worked to make the dream of the Dandiya actually become a reality,” said Shankar. “It’s sad she wasn’t here for the second year to see how much of a success it has become, but we know she would’ve been proud.”

With live music, good food, and an unforgettable crowd, Shankar was able to deem the night a success.

“I think it went well because a ton of people showed up,” said Shankar. “It was great to see people trying something new and different.”

Nehama was also impressed with the outcome and effort that was put into the event.

“The food was really amazing and the traditional outfits the women wore were beautiful,” said Nehama. “I think every student should have the opportunity to learn about cultures other than their own since we live in such a diverse community.”

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