By Yash Sharma
AJAX: In this 21st century, we seldom get an opportunity to celebrate and get involved in social events which depict our rich culture and heritage.
As we progress to an entirely new era of technology, these deep-rooted values – which bind us together as a family and as a society – seem to be fading away gradually. To make sure these traditions do not lose their charm, the Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham (ICCAD) hosted this spectacular festival of “Navratra” at the Ajax Community Centre on October 27.
This breathtaking event was attended by about 300 people and it was a joy to watch the enthusiasm with which the revellers and the international students of Durham College were dressed up in their colourful traditional outfits for the occasion. They were seen rejoicing and putting their best foot forward to the tunes of “Garba” and embracing their rich contemporary culture.
The festival kicked off a bit early, but as darkness fell large groups, including adults and children, were seen flocking to the venue to quickly swing into the festive mood. It were the performers who left the crowd stunned with their awesome performances and tub-thumping music.
It was a dream come true for the new international students of Durham College as they were awestruck to find themselves enraptured in a rhythmic and vibrant ambience which was no different from their home country. It proved to be a major stress-buster as the students were seen grooving to the sounds in large and small groups for hours of continuous dancing.
The intoxicating synchronized sounds of hand claps and “cluck-cluck” of the dandiyas left the onlookers dazzled as they cheered the performers on top of their voice throughout the event. The students in the audience were also seen charged with energy and devotion to celebrate this festival of Goddess Durga.
An opportunity to celebrate a cultural festival in a different country is an experience in itself, as was evident from the fact that the students of Durham College wanted the event to continue and they lived the moment to the fullest.
At midnight, even when the music began to slowly fade away, all faces in the hall were still beaming with interest and a gleam of excitement as they craved for more but only one thing could be promised : “We will return with a Bang, next year”.
(Yash Sharma is an international student and a student mentor at Durham College)