October 16, 2005

The dance of fertility!

A blur of twirling colors, the sound of anklets dancing in tune to garbha raas, shimmering bangles, dangling earrings and colorful dupataas compete for attention. I feel energy all around me, even in the exhausted smile of the woman who has been dancing for the past twenty five minutes non-stop; she is dressed in a beautiful black and white traditional garbha costume, siver bangles adorn her hands upto her elbow, long matching earrings and a silver choker necklace dazzle in the bright light - she smiles as she dances, not missing a beat, her hands and legs moving in perfect coordination...I watch her, mesmerized...

The garbha-dandiya programme was a feast for the eyes, I danced more than I imagined I would and it was not really that hard to follow. k, needless to say, had a blast. B, P & S danced away to glory too :) I learnt some interesting facts about Garbha - thanks to info from Bus:

"The Garbha Dance dance in western India is performed around a pot containing a lamp. The word "Garbha" by which the pot as well as the dance is known is etymologically close to the word Garbha meaning womb. In this context the lamp in the pot, symbolically represent life within a womb. This custom is also indicative of fertility worship."

and wiki's page on garbha says:

"Garba" comes from sanskrit word "Garbha Deep". the closest meaning of "Garbha" in English language is "inside", as inside of an earthen pot which people still use to store drinking water. The word "Deep" is diya, with a burning cotton wick in oil in an earthen small vessel. Women would put this "Garbha deep" in the center, as a symbol of Shakti/Goddess. And in rhythm to the prayers/bhajanas they dance in concentric circles while clapping, around the "Garbha Deep" or "Garabo". Though dandiya raas is also somewhat associated with garba, it originates from a totally different root. Dandiya raas was traditionally performed by men only...

That's my update for tonite...hope y'all there survive the Monday morning.


Parth said...

Traditional garbas are rare to find nowadays. Blame it on the new generation. It just gets worse in the US. After all the garba/dandiya gets done with, they play bhangda music in the end!!!

Brat said...

why do guys participate?????

RS said...

parth - Guess we lucked out, it seemed like a really authentic garbha/dandiya raas :)

brat - 1) also to celebrate? 2) to wear the really nice kurtis? 3) 'coz its fun? :))

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