Keeping Tradition Alive
Today we live in a global village united by technological miracles like mass media, information technology and international travel.
TV has brought us face-to-face with world events. Internet has turned strangers in distant places into friends. Airplanes have made foreigners, neighbors.
Cultures have influenced cultures.
Globalization has brought the world together, but the blending of cultures shouldn’t come at the cost of our own cultural identity.
SPICMACAY is committed to spreading this message to India’s youth. Through cultural performances by classical music and dance artists who travel throughout the nation, SPICMACAY is striving to revive Indian mythology, philosophy and values.
This October 28, an eight member dance troupe gracefully swayed into Amriteshwari Hall at the Coimbatore campus.
The evening of Rajasthani folk music and dance included an array of performances comprising of bhajans, Sufi songs, Jugalbandi and the famous Kalbelia snake dance. Rare and ancient instruments like Kartal, Kamcha, Morching and Dholak echoed captivating melodies throughout the night.
The troupe leader, Ustad Jamil Khan Manganiyar, began the show with soothing Mirabai and Kabir bhajans.
“These art forms have been travelling for generations,” he said.
Khan has been singing and playing music for over twenty years. His many radio and TV appearances have not taken away time from teaching music and dance to poor children.
Next, the rhythmic beats of the Morching mesmerized the audience. “It was amazing to see someone so flexible and graceful,” said student Shiva Ranjhani. P, of performer Ghazi Khan after the musical rendition.
A Sufi song to the Lord was followed by the Kalbelia snake dance performed by the extraordinarily talented 15-year old Indira. The dance, which resembles swaying serpents, comes from the Kalbelia tribe known for catching snakes and trading in venom.
Indira, dressed in a long black skirt embroidered with silver ribbons, has been dedicated to the art form since fifth grade. “I learned the dance by myself; the Kalbelia dance is my favourite,” she said.
The world has become a culturally diverse united family. Embracing other country’s traditions has benefitted our nation in many ways. However, as we accept other cultures, we should not lose respect for our own. As the young Kalbelia performer so wisely said, “These arts are a part of my ancestry. I want to keep that tradition alive.”
- with input from Anushree Madhavan and Spandana Kadiyala, final-year students of BA (Mass Communication)
November 19, 2011