bondla-1Five associations of Navi Mumbai namely Maratha Samaj Mahila Mandal, Nutan Mahila Mandal, Shiv Vishnu Prathisthan, Sahitya Sanskruti mahamandal and Sansakar Bharati, for the first time came together to organize Maha Bhondla in Vashi. Shilpa Suryavanshi was present during the celebration of this traditional dance. For the Gujarati community, Navratri might mean donning new outfits, wearing funky jewellery and displaying one’s dancing skills. But these nine nights of revelry are also significant for Maharashtrians. A festival, popular as Bhondla, used to witness women coming together and narrating daily life experiences in form of songs during Navratri. While the social changes over the years has also changed Bhondla, the traditional feel of this celebration was felt at Vashi where five associations came together for a Bondla musical night. Ladies adorning traditional sarees with the theme of blue, held hands and danced round the elephant, which symbolises the Hath Nakshatra-a constellation visible in the sky during Navratri. Keeping in mind the problems and issues plaguing the world, the songs touched on issues like swine flu, environment along with spreading awareness amongst the younger generation. In earlier times, women did not get the opportunity to come out of their homes and celebrate the festival, but with Bondla festival, they got the chance to come out and express themselves. Songs used to be sung where they compare their families to their in-laws. Hoping the younger generation is able to carry forward the tradition, celebrations such as these not just brings back memories of yesteryears to the older generation of Maharashtrians but also draws in younger people who enjoy the foot-tapping music and rhythm. With cameraperson Raju Sharma, Shilpa Suryavanshi for NMTV News.

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