NATION

Fiji Hindus Mark Navratri Festival

Navratri, literally interpreted as ‘nine nights,’ is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals where devotees of all ages come together to take part, especially the females. Shastri Jayendra Kumar
02 Oct 2014 07:32
Fiji Hindus Mark Navratri Festival
Taniela Tamanivalu after the mangrove planting initiative to celebrate Vodafone’s 25 years in Suva on July 3,2019. Photo: Vodafone Fiji

Navratri, literally interpreted as ‘nine nights,’ is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals where devotees of all ages come together to take part, especially the females.

Shastri Jayendra Kumar of Laxmi Narayan Temple of Holland Street, Suva, said it was a festival where women sing hymns and dance to the devotional ‘Garba’ dance.

The ‘Garba’ is a performed using ‘dandiya’ or thin wooden sticks. Traditionally, the dance is performed around a clay lantern with a light inside, called a Garbha Deep. The dancers thus honour Goddess Durga, the feminine form of divinity.

Garba is performed in a circle as a symbol of the Hindu view of time. The rings of dancers revolve in cycles, as time in Hinduism is cyclical.

“Navratri is the puja of Goddess Durga symbolising purity and power or ‘shakti’,” Shastri Kumar said.

“We also hold dandiya competition here to get everyone included.”

He said the puja was performed for nine days and nights because of Goddess Durga’s nine divine forms.

“We have bhajans (traditional folklore), hymns and prayers during these nine nights and the final night we have a session for small girls to participate in and at night to conclude we have the final ‘Garba,” Shastri Kumar said.

“This puja is mainly for female to give them peace, power and help them find their inner peace.”

Shastri Kumar is calling on the young generation to come forward and be part of the tradition.

“The young generations usually don’t take part in such traditional practices and that is sad,” he said.

“The young get diverted and by coming to puja and performing the rituals is actually going to help them get on the right path.”

The nine-day ritual ends on Saturday.

Feedback: farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 




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