It was a magical night.
The seamless excitement, the positive energy, and the profound gratitude of celebrating our native culture in person after two years, was palpable. The Gangaur celebration was inaugurated with the lighting up of the ceremonial diya in a traditional Rajasthani style. One could hear the chanting of the mantras in the background. All through out the evening, you could smell the earthen flavors of Rajasthan in an eclectic mix of ethnic food, fellowship, family, and a fantastic cultural program. You could feel the glory of the rich and majestic culture of Rajasthan in the mesmerizing décor. You could hear the robust melody of Rajasthani folk music and dance forms in all its foot-tapping vigor and felicity. You could see the vibrant splendor of Rajasthani costumes, jewelry, and turbans adorning the radiant demeanor of all our families, including all our children. You could taste the rich flavors of the delectable Rajasthani cuisine in the variety of choices in food.
In short, it was a heavenly experience to be a part of the grand celebration of Gangaur, hosted by the Rajasthan Association of Georgia (RAJA) on a sparkling night on April 16 2022 at Ashiana in Metro Atlanta. At the beginning of spring and the harvesting season in India, the women from Rajasthan worship Gana or Lord Shiva and Gaur or Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva to invoke their blessings for marital bliss and the welfare of the entire family. Gangaur celebrations start after Holika dahan and last for sixteen days in many states, including Rajasthan in northern India. In its broader aspect, Gangaur symbolizes the value of multi-generational families in the value system of Indian culture. Even though the Diaspora of the Indian community lives thousands of miles away from India, in our hearts we enshrine our native cultural heritage in its deepest form, which finds manifestation in our celebrations.
A heart-felt note of gratitude to all the families of RAJA and to all the sponsors for organizing and participating in a grand celebration of the Rajasthani culture in the form of Gangaur. It was a nourishing and soulful feast for all five senses for all our families. On this occasion, a food and toy drive was conducted to help communities in need. The younger children were awarded with certificates and gift cards after their participation in a quiz on Rajasthan. It’s a blessing to be a part of this organization.