Manchester Township Hindus Celebrate Navratri

September 26, 2006

Source: The York Daily Record

On September 26, 2006 The York Daily Record reported, "Hundreds of bare feet moved in step to a thunderous drum beat. Every color imaginable could be found on ornate gowns worn by women and girls dancing at Navratri, a 9-day celebration that devotes three days of worship each to the goddesses of valor, wealth and knowledge. The celebration is of happiness and worshiped by Hindus around the world. Manchester Township resident Nash Bhatt organized Saturday's Navratri dance, which was held at The Blast in Manchester Township. He sent emails to people in the Hindu community and expected about 100 to attend. He was surprised when nearly 500 people arrived. The local festival turned somber on Monday when they learned one of their members was killed in a crash late Sunday night. Jaya Brahmbhatt was killed after a hit-and-run driver hit her car in the southbound lanes of Interstate 83 in Fairview Township. Her funeral is today. During the days of Navratri, feasting and fasting take precedence over all daily activities for Hindus, Bhatt said. Evenings include a religious dance called 'Garba' to worship Goddess Durga Maa. Men and women folk dance in a circle, singing 'Garbas,' or traditional songs, he said. 'India has so many customs,' Mala Williams of Shrewsbury Township said. 'People wear a lot of colorful outfits. ... Obviously, there's a lot of dancing. This is something you learn when you are growing up.' Hindus around the world celebrate the event."