Navratri is one of the most popular and widely celebrated festivals of the Indian community after Diwali, and this year the Kiwi Indian communities of Christchurch and Auckland had the opportunity to enjoy the show hosted and performed by the ‘King of Dandiya’ Davang Patel.

Hosted in Christchurch on Saturday, September 15 and Auckland on Friday, September 21 at Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Eden Terrace, the event was a massive success with more than 700 people turning up at both locations for the show.

Devang Patel is a name many may recall from his hysterical lyric songs such as Meri Marzi and Stop That pictured by Bollywood star Govinda in the film Gambler in the early 1990s. These songs earlier produced in Gujarati later sung in Hindi gave Mr Patel a global recognition amongst the Indian music lovers. Devang Patel later came to be known as an ardent stage performer especially making Garba, and Dandiya songs which became relevant and famous amongst every age group of audience.

Devang Patel for long has been performing in different countries where his popularity rose with new Navratri songs and dance performances.

This year, the Navratri event bringing Devang Patel was organised by Anaya Group who also brought performers J Chawda and Suchita Vyas as his partners on the stage.

The event at MG Centre last Friday started at 7 p.m. as people dressed in their best Garba and festive outfits thronged the event centre and started the Puja and Garba dance before Devang Patel came to the stage. Also present at the event were National MPs Kanwaljit Bakshi, Dr Parmjeet Parmar and Labour MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan along with other community leaders and prominent community faces.

Devang Patel later appeared on the stage, and the crowd went into a frenzy and started the two and half hour continuous Garba and Dandiya performance at the venue. People formed huge circles and danced in chains with their Dandiya sticks till late in the evening.

“Dancing and performing on the stage was something I had dreamt of when I was in college. It is something that I would do as an entertainer all my life, and we have a six-country tour including China for this years’ Navratri festival,” Devang Patel said in an interview with The Indian Weekender.