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Local Hindu Community Wraps-Up Navratari Celebrations

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Eight events, hundreds of friends, many dances and countless good memories later – the local Hindu community wrapped up Navratari events this week. Navratari is a nine-day festival, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and features a round-dance called Garba.

Navratari means nine nights in Sanskrit, and celebrates the Hindu God Raama’s victory over Raavan, the demon king. Members of the Hindu Cultural Society came together at Father Mercredi High School on October 11, 2019 to celebrate the festival with prayers and Garba dances around Durga, the goddess of victory.

Balasubramanian Narayanaswamy, President, Hindu Cultural Society of Fort McMurray explains.

“This is one of the most important events in the Indian culture. It is celebrated across the country for different reasons, but the overarching theme is celebrating the triumph of good over evil.”

Garba, which means “womb” symbolizes the circle of life. It is also symbolic of God being the centre of life, and stands for goodness.

The Hindu Cultural Society of Fort McMurray was founded in 1983, and has 40 registered families. Narayanaswamy however estimates there are 5000 Hindus in Fort McMurray, who are also working on building the northern-most temple on Abraham’s Land. The ground-breaking was earlier this May with an expected completion next year.


Kiran Malik-Khan is the Communications Manager for the Fort McMurray Public School District, and national award-winning communications professional. She is a freelance journalist, a communications professional, and a poet. She loves sharing stories about unique people, events, and organizations. Kiran is the co-founder and volunteer public relations director for NorthWord magazine, Fort McMurray's first and only literary magazine. She is also the President/Co-founder of World Hijab Day Fort McMurray. A proud Pakistani-Canadian who grew up in New Jersey, she is a fierce advocate of Fort McMurray, multiculturalism, women's rights, and equality for all. Got a story nobody is telling? Send her ideas: DM and follow on Twitter @KiranMK0822.

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