Culture of India Celebrated at Annual Navaratri Festival

The Center for the Arts presented the 37th annual Navaratri Festival, celebrating the traditional culture of India with performances by some of the country’s leading artists on Oct. 10-13. One of India’s major festival celebrations, Navaratri is a time to see family and friends, enjoy music and dance, and seek blessings for new endeavors.

“For us Indian musicians traveling all over the world and especially in the U.S., this campus has been a place of great respect and wonder because of its ability to sustain this program for over 30 years,” said tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, who also performed during the 2010 festival. “It is a privilege and a blessing to be a part of this incredible environment.”

The 37th annual Navaratri Festival was supported by the Music Department, the Center for the Arts, the Jon B. Higgins Memorial Fund, the Madhu Reddy Endowed Fund for Indian Music and Dance at Wesleyan University, the Raga Club of Connecticut, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Middlesex Community College, Haveli Indian Restaurant and individual patrons.

On Oct. 11, vocalist B. Balasubrahmaniyan, adjunct assistant professor of music, performed "Vocal Music of South India" as part of the festival.

On Oct. 11, vocalist B. Balasubrahmaniyan, adjunct assistant professor of music, performed “Vocal Music of South India” as part of the festival.

Balasubrahmaniyan was joined by David Nelson, adjunct assistant professor of music on mridangam and violinist L. Ramakrishnan and Sriram Ramesh on kanjira.

Balasubrahmaniyan was joined by David Nelson, adjunct assistant professor of music on mridangam and violinist L. Ramakrishnan and Sriram Ramesh on kanjira.

On Oct. 10, Wesleyan's South Asian Students' Association, Shakti, offered henna art and sampling of chaat (savory snacks).

On Oct. 10, Wesleyan’s South Asian Students’ Association, Shakti, offered henna art and sampling of chaat (savory snacks).

Shakti is an organization devoted to promoting cultural awareness among South Asians and the greater Wesleyan community. Members are committed to emphasizing the social, political, and cultural aspects of the South Asian diaspora through lectures, cultural events and fundraisers.

Shakti is an organization devoted to promoting cultural awareness among South Asians and the greater Wesleyan community. Members are committed to emphasizing the social, political, and cultural aspects of the South Asian diaspora through lectures, cultural events and fundraisers.

Henna application during the Navaratri Festival.

Henna application during the Navaratri Festival.

(Photos by Dat Vu ’15)