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Navratri celebration brings festive cheer

'Ramzat 2018' , organised by FSU, was celebrated on saptami, ashtami, and navami at JW Marriott, Kolkata.

Navratri celebration brings festive cheer

Navaratri, the main cultural festival of Gujarat is celebrated every year with great pomp and show by the 'Friends Sporting Union' (FSU), a 67 year old institute with more than 4500 members.

During the time of Navratri, FSU organises 'raas' in different corners of the city. The celebration features traditional music, and dance – 'garba' in which participants from seven to seventy years of age dance to the tunes of live music.

The participants take part in several rounds of garba and dandiya and the winners get awards throughout the festival every night, followed by 'champion of champions' round in which 'Player of the Tournament' is announced and rewarded. This round is in fact one of the main highlights of the event.

The Gujarati society exists in Kolkata for more than 200 years. This society is mainly concentrated in central and south part of the city apart from Howrah district and Lake Town area. And hence, Navaratari celebrations are very much like any other major festival.

Apart from the conventional garba and dandiya, Navaratris at FSU also include events like 'Teen Taali' and 'Sanedo'.

This year, during Ramzat 2018, they arranged a never-before-done 'Neon Dandiya' segment, which covered the entire banquet hall in neon lights, neon-painted dandiyas and accessories, to provide the best and enriching experience. More than a hundred prizes were distributed among the members to attract the new, young generation and make them culturally-inclined.

'Ramzat 2018' was celebrated on saptami, ashtami, and navami at the Sangam Banquet at JW Marriott, Kolkata, which is the largest banquet hall in Eastern India. They provided the best possible environment for the members to enjoy Navaratri 2018.

This year, they invited a music group consisting of top singers and musicians from Gujarat, and organised exciting gift hampers along with lip-smacking street food across an area of 10,000 sqft.

Miraj Shah, Senior Vice President of The Bhawanipore Gujarati Education Society Trustee of Friends Sporting Union, said "I am the fourth generation of Kutchi Gujarati in Kolkata and have been associated with these community events since many years. Navratri is celebrated with a lot of energy by the community. Lot of organizations organise Dandiya and Raas Garbs. The one organised by Friends Sporting Union is a very traditional one."

"The organisation and quality of the event is one of the best in the city. This event is much appreciated as their entire family comes together for it. The celebrations continue from evening to early morning and families bond in these days".

For the convenience and safety of the members, they provided bus services every hour from various points in the city to the venue and back, all of which were free of cost. FSU has been giving the City of Joy an essence of Gujarat during Navaratri year after year.

Puja Banerjee

Puja Banerjee

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