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The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

South Asian Student Union hosts Garba night

Kaan Turkyilmaz
Students dance in the field house dressed in traditional South Asian clothing on Nov. 3 at Central’s first Garba night.

The South Asian Student Union (SASU) hosted a Garba night on Friday, Nov. 3. The event was held in the field house from 6-8 p.m., and participants had several activities to choose from including dance, food and henna. 

The main activity at the event was Garba, a traditional Gujarati folk dance where participants shuffle in a circular pattern. In the weeks leading up to the event, SASU executive board members posted dance tutorials on the SASU Instagram. 

The Garba welcomed students, staff and community members alike to enjoy the festivities while catching a taste of the South Asian culture. 

A photo booth was set up at the entrance of the field house. (Kaan Turkyilmaz)

Alexandra Knoch, senior, attended the Garba with her friends. She agreed that the event was well organized and served as a celebration of multiculturalism at Hinsdale Central. 

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“I thought it was a great experience, and it was overall very welcoming,” Knoch said. 

The Garba night had multiple activities, including three different styles of traditional South Asian dance: Garba, Raas and Bhangra. 

Bhangra, specifically, is a Punjabi routine danced to the steady rhythm of the dhol drum. 

“The Bhangra at the end was my favorite part,” said Arjun Khatau, junior.

SASU prepared for this event months in advance to ensure that everything ran smoothly and that participants enjoyed themselves. Sanskruti Patel, SASU club sponsor, shared the process that the club went through to successfully organize the event. 

“We have a brand new board this year, and we’ve got some really motivated juniors and seniors that wanted to think bigger about how to share elements of South Asian culture with the broader Hinsdale Central community,” Sanskruti said. 

According to Sanskruti, the new executive board pitched the Garba night idea in an attempt to “think bigger” this year. 

Samrah Syed, junior and SASU club president, shared her vision for the club coming into this new school year and how she hoped to change certain components from last year. 

“The club did not do a lot in terms of events last year, so, this year, we really wanted to step it up and start showing what South Asian culture looks like to the rest of the school,” Syed said. 

SASU club members posted signs throughout the school in the weeks leading up to the Garba night. (Kaan Turkyilmaz)

Syed and the rest of the club members were able to bring the Garba night to life with the guidance of their club sponsor and community. 

“They all seemed to have a lot of support from their parents and community members,” Sanskruti said. “So, I was willing to support them however I could, knowing that they were going to be responsible and motivated.”

Sanskruti added that there were several logistics that the club had to work through to prepare for the event including working with Sally Phillip to secure a date and the buildings & grounds department to select a location. 

Sameea Patel, sophomore and SASU executive board member, talked about how SASU was able to work with several local businesses to plan the event. 

“Local temples were contacted to use their raas/dandiya, which are wooden rods used in the Garba,” Sameea said. 

In addition, Sameea explained how many parents in the community volunteered to assist with teaching the steps to Garba and setting up the space, including the vibrant decorations in the field house. 

“I think the fact that [the students get to] host something like this at their high school is pretty incredible,” Sanskruti said. “Growing up as a South Asian kid, I would have never dreamed that my high school would have something like this.” 

Central is the first school to host a Garba in the western suburbs of Chicago. 

“We hope to inspire many more schools to host Garba,” Sameea said. 

The Garba night provided participants with the opportunity to experience a traditional element of South Asian culture, and SASU plans on providing many more opportunities in the future.

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About the Contributor
Kaan Turkyilmaz
Kaan Turkyilmaz, Writer
Kaan Turkyilmaz, junior, is excited to continue writing for Devils’ Advocate this year. In addition to contributing to the online newsmagazine, Kaan is a copy editor of the print newsmagazine and designer of the Daily Devil and What’s Trending columns. At school, he enjoys participating in BPA, Forensics and Link Crew. During his free time, Kaan enjoys watching “The Great British Baking Show.” You can contact Kaan at

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