Brahmin Society of New York (BSNY) celebrates Navratri

Members playing dandiya at the Navratri celebration organized October 15, 2023 by the Brahmin Society of New York at The Standard in Syosset, NY. Photo: Courtesy Pankaj Devyashree.

More than 1,000 people danced away the night of Navratri, Sunday, October 15, 2023 at the Dandiya Night organized by the Brahmin Society of New York (BSNY) at The Standard at Northshore, 83 Muttontown Eastwoods Road, Syosset, NY 11791.

“Everyone was in an upbeat mood and had fun, dancing the whole evening,” said Ruta Dave (Dave hereafter), President of BSNY. “It was a sold-out event, like last year’s,” she said.

The evening’s program, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, consisted of dandiya and garba, aarati, food, prizes, and shopping at the various vendors’ participating in the event.

Singer Foram Shah and her Band from New Jersey provided non-stop music for dandiya and garba, moving from one song to another swiftly, as the audiences kept pace with the beats.

BSNY members at the Navratri celebration October 15, 2023 at The Standard, Syosset, NY. Seen in the picture are Ruta Dave, Bharti Joshi, Harsha Jani, Joy Oza, Rajesh Pandya, Janak Dave, Dharini Trivedi, Kalpita Parikh, Poonam Shah, Kirti Shukla, Asha Dharawat, Rekha Trivedi, Pankaj Devyashree, Nilesh Mehta, Navin Jani, Labhubhai Upadhyaya, Kamya Parikh, Clara Oza, and Namrata Pandya. PHOTO: Pankaj Devyashree

Dave said Shah performed at their last year’s Navratri event also. “She sings very well. And she keeps the audience engaged,” said Dave.

Shah holds a Sangeet Visharad degree and has been singing professionally for over 25 years in films and on stage and at various events in the tri-state area.

The evening was like going to a FunFair, with various stalls of garments, jewelry, brokerage companies, insurance companies, physical therapy and real estate agencies, and food stalls by New York Masala.

Organized and managed by the Navratri Committee of Ruta Dave, Rajesh Pandya, Kalpita Parikh, Dharini Trivedi and Poonam Shah, the event had taken a lot of planning. Dave said the committee had been working tirelessly for months to organize the venue, the entertainment, the Band, the ticket sales, the sponsorships, the vendors, the raffles, the prizes for children, adults and seniors and much more.

According to Dave, BSNY has been having Navratri celebrations for years. However, the last two years’ events have become bigger, held on a larger scale.

BSNY has its own trustees, executive board, executive committees, and special committees. Dave said she had very good support from all the committee members during her Presidency. “There is no politics. If someone is eager to act, we encourage that person,” she said.

Dave said BSNY has been changing and modernizing. She spoke about the general election process, which is now electronic and transparent. “We want to bring more young people into the organization, and, for that, we have to bring a change,” Dave said.

One of the major upcoming events of BSNY is the Diwali celebration, on which the Diwali committee is already working. Getting a place of their own is on BSNY’s annual agenda, according to Dave. She said a permanent location would make it easy to have their various activities, their free events, as well as their donation drives for multiple causes.

Although named Brahmin Society, the organization is open to all. “We allow everyone to become members. We have non-Brahmin members too. The whole idea is to preserve and promote our culture. And all are welcome as long as they have the same thinking and goal,” Dave said.



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