Raas Garba Competition: Celebrating Gujarati Culture in Western Canada

By Julye Huggins
Raas Garba Festival Dancers

The Alberta Gujarati Association recently hosted the 2012 Western Canada Raas Garba Competition in Calgary, September 1st and 2nd. Following a twenty-year history, the event brings together participants from Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver to celebrate the culture of Gujarati speaking people from Gujarat, West India. The dance competition includes categories for Youth Folk (ages 13-17), Adult Garba (ages 18+) and Adult Co-Ed Raas (ages 18+). The 2010 Raas Garba Festival was held in Edmonton, where Vancouver swept the awards in all three dance categories: Youth Folk by the VanGopis, Adult Garba by Lady Garba and Adult Co-Ed Raas by CobRaas. This video highlights the performance by Lady Garba, which broke with garba’s traditional aesthetics and stirred quite a controversy (including indignant comments on YouTube).This year’s results, however, are split between the two provinces:- Raas: Calgary 1st place- Garba: Vancouver 1st place- Folk: Vancouver 1st place- Best overall: Calgary Raas- Best choreography: Calgary Raas- Best costume: Vancouver Raas
Learn more:The Alberta Gujarati AssociationGujarati Cultural Festival

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