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Best Place to Do Indian Dance and Possibly Get Married Off to Someone's Daughter 

Navratri Garba

Thanks to Slumdog, Madonna, and Shah Rukh Khan eclipsing Jesus in world popularity, all things India are finally trendy. But while Bollywood dance is all well and good (essentially hip-hop with a few arm movements stolen from folk and classical Indian dance), you can get in touch with your brown side authentically at CSU Hayward's Garba folk dance. Thrown over consecutive weekends by the Gujarati Cultural Association of the Bay Area, usually the first week of October, the event transforms a basketball gym into a skipping, hopping, swirling mass of color. Young and old, male and female gather in their newest salwar kameez finery to twirl in giant circles, keeping the beat with bare feet and hand claps. The "Raas" version of the dance gives you dandiyas, colorful dancing sticks that you hit against another dancer's. It's all in celebration of the nine-day Navratri festival, but watch out for the knowing eyes of the Indian moms; if you've got your Garba groove on, look good in traditional wear, and have a master's degree, you may well find yourself the object of their matchmaking desire.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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