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Gujarat's Dandiya Spirit Moves New Delhites

Gujarat's Dandiya Spirit Moves New Delhites

Publication: NDTV.com
Date: September 23, 2006
URL: http://www.ndtv.com/features/showfeatures.asp?slug=Dandiya+makes+way+into+Delhi+hearts&id=1455

The traditional Gujarati folk dance where dancers form two circles, moving clockwise and counter-clockwise, holding dandiyas (two sticks) and strike them against their traveling partner's pair has become wildly popular outside of Gujarat. This Navaratri dance celebration has invaded India's capital where people have committed themselves to learning the dance correctly. Gearing up for festivities, some have been training under a group of professional folk dancers from Gujarat. No pulsating music or Bollywood remixes, this is real dandiya in all its traditional glory. For around US$22, you get 20 classes and a Punjabi housewife says it's one of her best investments. "You learn culture and you get exercise," she said. "We saw dandiya over the years in Delhi, and we've noticed it's not the pure form. People can dance to remixes but we want them to know the real traditional version which is why we are teaching them," said Bhagwati, member, Lok Utsav.

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