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Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samittee Hosts Festival Celebrating Women

Mahananda Luitel
Women dancing as part of the Teej festival

The Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samittee is hosting a festival tomorrow to celebrate women leaders in Summit County.

Teej is a Hindu festival celebrated by women. The festival includes singing, dancing and prayer rituals. The nonprofit’s president Mahananda Luitel says the festival flips gender norms.

Luitel says men organize the festival so women can relax

“Men too join, but generally men prepare food. Sometimes women also participate, but men prepare food, and they create a very comfortable zone where women are engaged with the music and the dances. In the meantime, the men volunteer themselves serving food.”

This year, Luitel says they will also be honoring women leaders in their own community and in Summit County. He says several community leaders, including Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, have accepted their invitation. He hopes the festival encourages more acceptance and inclusion of different cultures.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.