These Gujaratis Are Making India Proud In The UK By Teaching Garba To Foreigners!

These Gujaratis Are Making India Proud In The UK By Teaching Garba To Foreigners!

2 min


It is hard to imagine when you see Jigar Soni and his brother Suhrad perform Garba that they are not 18 year olds who win a prize every single time they dance. 43-year-old Jigar and 35-year-old Suhrad have been playing Garba since their childhood and been teaching authentic folk Garba in their own dance academy Soni School of Garba Dance for almost 2 decades now.

Both being proud Gujaratis, they have contributed to the Gujarati culture to a great extent, and were honoured by the Member of Parliament in United Kingdom Bob Blackman on September 7. The event took place in the House of Commons in UK’s parliament house. “It feels unreal that we have been chosen for this award as contributors to Gujarati and Indian culture. We hope that we can take the folk dance and culture of our motherland in every corner of the world,” Jigar said while talking to BuddyBits.

It comes as a surprise to us when Jigar informs us that he has won a gold medal in folk dance by the government of India back in 1996. The brothers have been trained in Garba under legendary dancer Indumati Lele and have been performing and teaching Garba worldwide in 14 cities including Zurich, London, Dubai, Geneva, Bern and London. Suhrad Soni, the younger brother in the Soni family also expressed his elation on the occasion and told us, “My brother Jigar, me and my sister Nivruti had been winning prizes in all the Garba events. However this honour feels very different as we represent our state and nation internationally,” he said.

Jigar Soni (In Black) and Suhrad Soni
Jigar Soni (In Black) and Suhrad Soni

The achievements of these Soni siblings do not end there as they have been making Gujarat proud even in the United Nations. In December 2016, they have been the only lecturers on Garba in the World Dance Congress organized by the International Dance Council which is a part of the UNESCO. They have taught Garba not just to Indians, but to Russians, Greeks, Britishers and Americans as well!

The total number of students that they have taught so far can go into as many as five digits. “We have always focused on the authenticity of Garba as a dance, and never ever made the mistake of westernizing any move from this art. The techniques that we use is what we teach our students, which is what the students have always loved about us,” Jigar told us, also informing us that him and Suhrad have been invited by the Mayor of London to perform at the Trafalgar square next month. “It’s something both of us are looking forward to, performing Garba at one of world’s biggest landmark,” he smiled and told us.


Team BuddyBits
This article is posted by one of the team members of BuddyBits.