Thousands of Hindu’s around the world celebrate Navartri every year. A nine-night celebration, (also known as Durga Puja) celebrates the triumph of good over evil. During this time, women and men dress up in colourful outfits and participate in a range of different traditional dances and prayers. It usually takes place around the end of September/ beginning of October. During this celebration, the Goddesses Durga Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped due to the three different manifestations of cosmic energy or Shakti.
The Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation invited us down to the Northampton Collage on Booth lane to witness this colourful event. Whilst we were there, we had the opportunity to witness the dances and prayers, which took place. We had the opportunity to speak to the Chairwomen of the Organisation, Neelam Agaarwal who explained in depth to us what the ceremony was all about and what the event personally meant to her. She expressed the enjoyment she gets from attending the event; as she is also able to see many others from the Hindu community, which she would not normally see throughout the year. She expressed how pleased she were that there were so many youngsters supporting the event, “I’m so delighted to see so many youngsters here today”. It is important to the elder generation that so many youngsters are excited to be involved as Neelam mentions we are here today and gone tomorrow and without the younger crowd these events could not continue.
The event brings peace and enjoyment to many others as we spoke Shivani Mistry a young person who attends the event every year. She mentioned how she loves to attend Navartri every year as she “gets to see family and friends, we get to dance and it’s a really good time to celebrate god”. Being a dancer herself, joining in with all the festivities is something that she thoroughly enjoys doing. She expressed how important this event is for her to attend not just as a Guajarati but also as a youngster, “going to Navartri is tradition, its super important to me to stay in touch with my culture. The fact that IHWO holds this event at the Northampton Collage every year, I believe as youngsters it’s really important to attend these events and take part in our community”.
For more Information regarding Navartri and other festivities, visit the IHWO website at http://ihwo.org.uk/
By Damini Parekh
Inspiration FM Reporter