Celebrating 9 Nights of Diversity

by | Oct 23, 2015 | BD Voice | 0 comments


Its that time of the year which I simply love.  \”Nava-ratri\” literally meaning \”nine nights’ is celebrated in various forms across India. The colours, music, dance, food – I simply love the diversity of it all. As a Marwari girl born and brought up in Kolkata and now married into a Bengali family and staying in cities like Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore, I have celebrated this festival in its many forms.

Every state, city, region has it\’s own celebration of the festival, each unique in it\’s own way. From Kolkata\’s Durga Puja to the Mysore, Coorg Dussehra\’s to the Golu down South to the Bastar Dussehra to the Ram Lila up North, Garba – Dandiya in west, every region has it\’s own way of celebrating the festival.

I have enjoyed the Garba Dandiya with my Guajarati friends, watched Ram Lila in Delhi and of course Durga Puja Pandal hopping in Kolkata. While the festival is on the same days, but the way it is celebrated – from decoration, dance rituals, clothes and cuisine –  the diversity of it simply boggles me.

Women take a central stage in this festival and it is a celebration of feminine qualities such as dance, music and decoration. It is also a reminder of historic status of women in India and how they held lot more power in ancient India.  Worshipping of “Shakti” or “Maa Durga” or “Ambe Maa” is all about recognizing the power of feminine energy and winning of good over evil.

A simple festival in India can teach us so many things. It is all about “Diversity in action”. It is all about respecting the diverse features, opinions, and views and yet coming together to celebrate their uniqueness

While the national debate on various religious views as well as what all one should eat or not is going on, we should remember the unique diverse features of our country and celebrate that.  So this Navratri, lets celebrate these nine nights for all the different regional preferences, religious sentiments and food preferences. India is truly a diverse and largest democracy and let us uphold that with our inclusive spirit.

With best wishes

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