Navaratri Festival Celebrates Indian Culture

B. Balasubrahmaniyan, adjunct instructor of music, sings music of South India during Wesleyan's 32nd annual Navaratri Festival Oct. 2 in Crowell Concert Hall. Navaratri, which is one of India's major festival celebrations, honors traditional music and dance while giving audiences a glimpse at the contemporary arts scene.

Local resident Nancy Barbera gets the top of her hand tattooed in henna by Devaka Gunawardena '09 during the festival's Henna Party Sept. 30.

Gunawardena, at right, created henna tatoos for several students and community members throughout the Henna Party. The event was held in Olin Library.

Guest artist Anantha Krishnan plays violin during the South Indian Vocal Music performance.

More than 65 students, staff, faculty and families danced to the tune of Dandiya Raas songs during a Dandiya Party Sept. 27.

More than 65 students, staff, faculty and families danced to the tune of Dandiya Raas songs during a Dandiya Party Sept. 27.

The Dandiya Party was a pre-festival event organized by graduate students and sponsored by the Center for the Arts and the Graduate Student Association.

The Dandiya Party was a pre-festival event organized by graduate students and sponsored by the Center for the Arts and the Graduate Student Association.

Musicians entertain the audience with South Indian music.

Other activities included a film screening, Bhangra dance parties, and a celebratory feast and an honoring of Navaratri’s religious traditions at a culminating worship service.

The Navaratri Festival was sponsored by the Center for the Arts and is made possible by support from the Jon B. Higgins Memorial Fund, John Spencer Camp Fund, Raga Club of Connecticut, Music Department and individual patrons. Shakti, Wesleyan’s South Asian students’ association, helped plan pre-festival events.

(Photos by Intisar Abioto ’09 and Ashik Kannan, Providence, Rhode Island)