New York — Singing and dancing besides prayers will mark Navratri celebrations by the Indian American community in Jersey City.
Starting Saturday, the two-day event spread over two weekends will conclude Oct 7.
The block of Newark Avenue in Jersey City, popularly known as ‘Little India’ because of the presence of a large number of Indian stores and restaurants, will be the centre of these festivities, according to Hudsonreporter.com.
A street festival, it will be hosted by the Jersey City Asian Merchant Association (JCAMA) with Govinda Sanskar Center, the Journal Square Restoration Corporation and Jersey City’s Urban Enterprise Zone.
“Celebrating Navratri here allows me to feel like I am back in India, and back to my childhood,” the website report quoted Raj Patel, one of the founders of the festival, as saying.
What separates the Jersey City event from other similar events is that it is free of charge and is open for everyone to participate.
“If you got to the other Navratri events in New Jersey this weekend… in Iselin, in Edison, and Old Bridge, you have to pay money and the events are held indoors,” another Indian American, Pappu Barot, told the website.
“He (Raj Patel) is the only one to organise Navratri the way it’s supposed to be done,” he said.
Restaurants will serve special Navratri meals, staying open till late.
The event, held regularly since 2002, has seen up to 10,000 people participating and the organisers expect this year to be no different.
Indian Americans form the largest Asian migrant group in New Jersey.