Folk Dances in India

Having read the earlier post, these guys are going at it, on and on about folk dances in India, which is actually a topic which is quite apt for this time of the year. Well, they are talking more about the folk dances from India, and a number of things i can hear them saying.

One is about the purpose of folk dances. In India, folk dances are performed at particular festivals. The themes of these folk dances typically revolve around Gods and Goddesses, and they depict specific episodes from the vast and rich mythological milieu of India.

The Ras Garba, from Gujarat, for instance, is performed in honour of the Mother Goddess, and it also is a depiction of the Divine play of God with His devotees as exemplified by the dance of Divine love, played by Lord Krishna with His devotees, embodied by the Gopis in the Hindu tales, called the Raas Leela.

Coming from almost the other end of India, from Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, is another dance-form, the Chhau dance. Here is the dance depicting the slaying of the demon Mahishasura by Goddess Durga. The story depicted by the dance culminates with the depiction of the slaying of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga, and the depiction of Goddess Durga with Her children as we see during Durga Puja.

There are other folks dances which mark the passage of the seasons, and welcome a new season, or a new year. These are primarily related to the agrarian calendar where the harvest season, representing the abundance that God has given us, is celebrated. These dances are performed more as a celebration of life.

One of these is the Giddha, which is a very popular folk dance from the Punjab, and is performed primarily by girls. This is performed at festivals and at occasions like weddings. Every bit as energetic as the Bhangra (can the girls be any less than the boys, after all), the core of the dance is the humour, emotion, and love of everyday life, including, of course, the excesses of a tyrannical mother-in-law.

And from the a totally different part of India, the North-East comes the colourful, rhythmic and sensuous dance of the Bihu, where the name means to ask for peace and prosperity. Heres a nice video (skip the first 10 minutes is a suggestion).

And you can see from here, the colours, the music, and the dance forms which differ so much from one part of India from another.

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7 Responses to Folk Dances in India

  1. Atul says:


    Kukkadi o laeni jedi kud kud kardi ae, saure nai jana sas bud bud kardi ae;
    Kukkadi o laeni jedi ande dendi ae, saure di jhidkaan meri jutti sehndi ae!

    For the uninformed:

    I want to take the hen which clucks a lot, i dont want to go to my in-laws, my mother-in-law grumbles a lot!
    I want to take the hen which lays eggs, my slipper handles the scoldings of my father-in-law!!


  2. Atul says:

    Here’s the original …


  3. Atul says:

    Or these lines ..

    Sun lai gall kithe Bhabbo meri ne, ke ja ke puttar de kann bhare haneri ne!

    If my mother-in-law hears what i am saying, she the old hag (like a duststorm) will go and tattle to her son!

    And nobody could sing this like Surinder Kaur.


  4. Pingback: Folk Dances in India | Thoughts about the World, Business, Knowledge, Spirituality ...

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