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International students dance in Alumni Auditorium to celebrate ‘Navaratri’

By Selina McCallumn

Alumni Auditorium was filled last night with young women and men dressed in traditional Indian outfits and dancing to celebrate the Indian festival called Navaratri.

Navaratri which means “Nine Nights” is a festival in India where people come together and dance to celebrate an Indian goddess. They also play Garba which is a dance around a statue of a goddess.

Sheel Patel is the Director of Events for the International Student Society. He is an international student from India and is completing his Masters in Industrial Engineering

“We dance to the tunes of God and worship them,” said Patel.

Patel says that the ISS works hard to communicate with people of different cultures to put on events like Navatri.

Vice President of the International Student Society, Zaynab Panjvani, was pleased to have over 100 people attend the event. She is in her third year studying Business Administration with Coop. Panjvani is from India but grew up in Congo before coming to study at the University of Windsor.

“My team and I worked really hard and planned this for weeks so we are really happy with the turnout,” said Panjvani. “It’s also a great way for international students and domestic students to come together and get to know each other, in a form of dance.”

A long line of students wait outside the Alumni Auditorium to celebrate and play Garba.

The music poured out from the auditorium and could be heard throughout the student centre. Many attendees were full of life as they danced and laughed with their friends and peers.

Yena, an international student from India, will be starting her Masters in Medical Biotechnology in the winter semester. She is grateful to experience a tradition she used to celebrate at home, in Canada.

“This is our traditional festival, so I’m very happy. Being here in Canada it’s like a totally new experience for us,” said Yena.

The event was free and open to all students of the University of Windsor, even alumni.

Meet Patel graduated and now lives in Chatham, but visited the university to celebrate with friends.

Meet Patel is an alumnus of UWindsor. He graduated from the Masters in Engineering and Mechanical Engineering program.

“To see all these students here it’s amazing. This festival is celebrated every year so I always wait for it and enjoy it with friends,” said Patel.

UWSA President, Jeremiah Bowers, also attended the event where he was excited to learn how to play Garba.

“What a gift to have a taste of another culture on our campus,” said Bowers. “That’s really what UWindsor is all about and what we believe here as a Lancer family, embracing diversity and experiencing the beauty of different cultures that makes us who we are as Lancers.”

President of the UWSA, Jerimiah Bowers, admires the diversity and culture.

The Vice President of ISS is proud that they’re able to bring the feeling of home for students away from home.

Zaynab Panjvani, VP of the International Student Centre (left) and Victor Sam, VP of Finance for International Student Centre (right) attended the event.

“It’s really good to have that feeling of home, you know, when you’re alone, moving away from home to a different country and environment. It feels good when you have a group of people in society that supports you and welcomes you to a new place,” said Panjvani.


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