THF404 Ryerson Inquiry Project

Added 18th May 2021 by Tanvi Vyas / Last update 18th May 2021

DCD Disocver_Bibliography_Tanvi Vyas (1).pdf
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THF404 Ryerson Inquiry Project

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An introduction to Raas-Garba by Tanvi Vyas:
The project I made is a hand-embroidered piece of a Daayan dancing Raas-Garba in honour of Durga. Daayan’s are known to be women who practice sacrificial magic and have long braids and long black claws used to fight. She is wearing a "chaniya choli" (sometimes called a "ghagra choli"), a traditional outfit for Garba, just in a modern style and dances with lamps. I chose a Daayan because they are seen as a curse in rural areas, and many innocent women have been persecuted before and continue to be so. However, there are many myths where these women look to Durga as a protector and only became Daayans as a form of revenge and as a way to free themselves from horrible situations. This is what I wanted to convey through my piece.
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Tanvi Vyas 5/18/2021 Annotated Bibliography Chavda, Mrunal. “Performing Garba (The Clap Dance): Choreographic and Commercial Changes.” Dance Chronicle, vol. 42, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 78–101. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/01472526.2018.1563468. This article examines how garba has moved from a religious folk form of dance to an ethno-identity dance. It also explores how garba struggles to maintain a traditional form of dance and it investigates this resistance by referencing choreographic revisions, gender, and costumes within urban and rural spaces influenced by Bollywood, commercialization, and the rise of the Hindu right-wing political ideology which evolved after the 1990s. Additionally, it inquires how garba allows performers "to transcend issues of representation, class distinction, hetero-normative boundaries, and post-colonial differences." Finally, it examines how garba produces a condition in which every member feels the unity, harmony, and concord of the community. This is a very detailed and complex article that covers the history of garba and how it has been used as a political tool by extremists. Coming from a Gujarati family that has been separated from the rest of India for a few generations, I learnt something new about how much of an influence garba has had and how much of an effort has gone into preserving traditional aspects. Mesaki, Simeon, and Fatima G. Bapumia. “The Minorities of Indian Origin in Tanzania.” Indian Africa - The Minorities of Indian Origin in Tanzania, Africae, 1 Jan. 1970, This book gives a history of Indian populations in Tanzania. Specifically, in regards to Gujarati populations, it mentions how most of the Indian population in Tanzania speaks Gujurati and how the language was an optional subject in schools in addition to English, Swahili and French in colonial times. It also mentions how Gujarati families have incorporated a few Swahili words such as kabat for kabati (cupboard), madaf for madafu (coconut) and fagyo for fagio (broom) while each community is often separated by caste/identity with its specific temple/religious space. However, the authors describe how they are brought together by common celebrations such as Holi, Navratri and Diwali and other non-religious events. This book is important to my research because my Grandfather often speaks of how he saw garba change while living in Tanzania compared to India as the two cultures mixed. My mother tells stories of bringing friends from school to Navratri celebrations and garba nights. From my observations over the years, I noticed how when dancing raas with a Gujurati community from Tanzania - in comparison to nights with a broader population from all over India - the first group always has movements not as traditional or familiar. This is hard to describe as garba is hardly ever written down. You learn by Tanvi Vyas 5/18/2021 quite literally being tossed into a circle. As has happened before acros the world, the two communities mixed, adopting words and learning each other's languages, eventually sharing dance practices as well. “What Is Garba? The Meaning Behind the Tradition.” International Festival of Arts and Ideas, 5 June 2019, Garba or Raas-Garba is a folk dance that originated from Gujarat, India. Functioning as a religious and social event, garba is a community circle dance performed in community spaces and most often during Navratri, the world’s largest and longest dance festival. Navratri, which translates to “nine nights,” is the Hindu festival honouring Durga, with each day being dedicated to one of her nine forms. Garba is essential to Navratri festivities, but in Gujarat, the dance is often performed at other social events such as weddings and parties. Garba is a dance that honours, worships, and celebrates the feminine form of divinity. Performed in a circle and barefoot, the dance conveys Hindu beliefs of time functioning as a constantly revolving cycle and an utmost respect to the earth, which holds a reservoir of energy that can be accessed through the feet. This article well describes the most well-known reasons why and how garba is performed and does an excellent job of explaining spiritual and religious beliefs. It serves as a great introduction to the dance. Other Sources David, Ann R. “Embodied Traditions: Gujarati (Dance) Practices ... - Springer.” Embodied Traditions: Gujarati (Dance) Practices of Garba and Raas in the UK Context, Springer Link, 2014, Falcone, Jessica M. ""GARBA WITH ATTITUDE": Creative Nostalgia in Competitive Collegiate Gujarati American Folk Dancing." Journal of Asian American Studies, vol. 16, no. 1, 2013, pp. 57-89,135. ProQuest, Jessica Marie Falcone (2016) Dance Steps, Nationalist Movement: How Hindu Extremists Claimed Garba-raas, Anthropology Now, 8:3, 50-61, DOI: 10.1080/19428200.2016.1242910 “ What is Garba? Crossing the Globe, Crossing Generations.” International Festival of Arts and Ideas, 5 June 2019,