(IMAGE: Twitter - ANI)
On the festival of Navratri on Monday night, girls dressed in PPE costumes did a Garba dance. This was done in Rajkot, Gujarat. Netizens have been giving positive and negative responses to this performance.
"This Garba aims to spread awareness among the public about the COVID-19," said Rakshaben Boriya, organiser of the Garba.
#WATCH | Girls in PPE kits performed Garba dance in Rajkot, Gujarat on the occasion of Navratri on Monday night— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2021
"This Garba aims to spread awareness among the public about the COVID-19," said Rakshaben Boriya, organiser of the Garba pic.twitter.com/Bqd9JZzJ7d
People have been observed enjoying Garba in their own unique ways and traditions all around the country. In the courtyard of Mata Ambe Temple in the Mandvi area of the Vadodara district of Gujarat, an age-old tradition of 'all-male Garba' is practised, in which men perform the Garba and ladies sing while sitting inside a jharokha. For almost 400 years, this custom has been followed in the temple. Temple priest Durgesh told ANI on Sunday that the all-men Garba does not mean that females are not allowed to participate.
Per the priest, it was not safe for women to engage in Garba at this temple late at night 400 years ago. Previously, men would dress up in sarees and dupattas and dance Garba in the courtyard of this temple in place of ladies, who would sing within the Jharokhas. Women can also participate, but they don't participate directly to uphold the age-old tradition; instead, they join in the celebrations by singing along, he added. Due to the pandemic, the celebration could not be held last year, and just singing was permitted, according to the priest.
"But this time, people are coming. We are really happy. We urge people to follow the government orders and COVID protocols by wearing masks, using sanitisers and practising social distancing," he added.
The Garba ritual has also impacted the economic conditions of local vendors by bringing in lesser sales than usual. Garba dress manufacturers claim that sales have been lacklustre this year, with restricted turnout in Gujarat's Surat due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ami Dalal, maker of Garba dresses told ANI, "I have been selling 'Garba' dress for last 41 years. I have faced Rs 4 to 5 lakhs of loss this year. I used to export the dresses to America, Bangkok but this time, I have not received any orders. COVID-19 pandemic has affected our business”. He went on to say that, despite the restrictions, individuals are just renting dresses and not buying them. He stated that the discounts stand at 50%.
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