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When I don't come to Vadodara at the Navratri time, for the festival of Navratri, I really miss to play the Garba, to be here in this crowd, with more than 30,000 people playing the Garba. I miss the colours, I miss the joy and I miss the good music. And I just love to come every year.
I came here for the first time in 2005 and I was just watching the festival, the people playing and it is a joy, and from 2006 onwards, I was also playing the Garba. And now, I can't just miss it. I come particularly for this festival. I was a resident of Vadodara for more than 4 years. I relocated to Germany in 2009 and since then, I come every year and play nine nights of Garba. It's just a very emotional thing for me, just to sit here and listen.
I miss my friends, miss the culture and miss the food. Not really food, because I started cooking Indian food on my own. Also I miss the exciting life here. Sometimes its a big challenge to deal with it and on the other hand, not a single day is boring.
I would definitely come back, if I get a chance and I recommend going to Vadodara, because it is a very good place to live in India and it is not as crowded as other cities like Bombay, Delhi or Bangalore. Everything is so close and you will meet a lot of other expats here. What makes me come again, is to see my friends. Even my Indian friends come and visit me in Germany. So, there is a close connection to Vadodara.
Helen Beier
IT Professional
Lives and works in Germany. Has fallen in love with Vadodara's Navaratri - the largest dance festival with the longest duration in the world. Ensures that she's here, every year, to experience the magic.