The Vanderbilt South Asian Cultural Exchange (SACE) and Vandy Raas partnered to host Garba, a showcase of South Asian dance and culture, on Thursday, Sept. 26 in the Student Life Center.
“Making sure everything is in order, figuring out the food and publicizing the event were some of the problems I faced, not knowing how to go about planning such a large event, since everything about this process was so new to me,” SACE Special Events Chair Shubham Gulati said in an email to the Hustler. “But thankfully, everything turned out wonderfully. As soon as the clock hit six, my biggest worry was relieved as people began to stream in with smiles on their faces, and the smile it put on my face only widened as the event progressed.”
Garba is held to commemorate Navaratri, a Hindu festival. During Garba, people dance in a circle around a lamp in order to honor the Hindu Goddess Durga.
“SACE’s mission of education on and celebrating South Asian identity has become one of my main passions at Vanderbilt,” SACE President Sadhana Durbha said in an email to the Hustler. “It’s amazing to see how invested our Special Events Chair, Shubham, and the rest of SACE board was in ensuring that Garba was a success and to see the overwhelming amount of love and interest in South Asian culture present on this campus at events like Garba.”
Attendees had the opportunity to learn how to dance Garba and Raas as well as to enjoy Bollywood music and free food. The event also featured performances from student groups Vandy Taal, Lakshya, the Bhangradores and Vandy Raas in addition to free food and music.
“Watching people learn how to do both Garba and Raas, a dance form I didn’t even know before the event, filled me with joy,” Shubham said. “Planning this event was extremely fulfilling, and knowing that I was able to bring a bit of both cultural exposure and fun to Vanderbilt’s campus makes me even more excited to plan the rest of the events this year.”