The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

Students Dance the Night Away at Navratri Celebration

Matthew Wynkoop
Group of Participants Show Off their Dancing

International students gathered to celebrate Navratri on October 20, 2023, dancing and cheering on attendees during the celebration. The event, originally scheduled to take place at the SEC lawn, was moved to the Morrison Gallery in the library due to weather. Despite the very small space for a large crowd, the celebration continued on. 

Navratri is a Hindu festival celebrated over the span of nine nights. Participants wore festive outfits that showcased the style and fashion of their culture. 

Most domestic students probably are not familiar with Navratri and what exactly it commemorates. 

Dr. Charles Lord, Assistant Director of the International Students Office, provides some clarity on the festival. 

“It’s all about the goddess Durga. So, it’s sort of a Pan-Asian celebration celebrated through the entire Hindu diaspora, celebrating this particular Hindu goddess Durga who was kind of a mother-goddess,” Lord explained. 

“I guess what’s interesting about her and this festival and Durga is…as a mother she is both sort of protective and nurturing, but has this sort of wicked, destructive other side,” he continued. 

Perhaps the most notable moment of the celebration was the performers, who either in groups or individually danced to festive music. This was when the crowd was the most electric, loudly cheering on the dancers as they performed. After a while, the entire room was participating in dance, and the environment was one full of happiness and joy. It was a great opportunity for international students to come together and celebrate a common cause. 

Lord also described how the event is typically perceived. 

“I think the celebration itself is often understood as being this [idea] of good over evil,” he said. 

This was the first time that Penn State Harrisburg held an event celebrating Navratri. It came about via input from the international student body, and Dr. Lord and the rest of his team helped make it happen. Given the success of the event, there is a good chance that the event will be held again next fall. Anyone interested should keep and eye out for fliers promoting the event or check the Corq or Student Engagement app. 

Students Gather to Celebrate Navratri (Matthew Wynkoop)
Portrait of Goddess Durga (Matthew Wynkoop)
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