Folk Dances of India - the North-west: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, Jammu, Kashmir

Joe Shearer

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Starting at the very beginning, in Kathiawad (OK, OK, Kathiyawad, if you prefer!), nice place to begin, considering that both Gandhi and Jinnah were Kathiawadis:

 

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This is a Ras, but not the Dandiya Ras: spoiler - SKIP TO 09:00.

This is the most unwarlike part of India.

 

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When I was in Vadodara (Baroda to y'all), during Navaratri, these gorgeous young Gujarati kids would go walking from Garba to Garba, looking for the best music and the best dancing, in their incredible costumes - no back to their cholis, short, incredibly colourful ghagras, barefoot. That was 1984; NOBODY interfered with them, they walked around perfectly at ease, although speaking for this middle-aged man, they made any red-blooded man break out into a cold sweat. Have fun watching a cleaned-up version.

Now you know why Mahmud found his way to Somnath - what was it? 17 times?

 

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Since I couldn't find a Rajasthani jhoomar (I found half-a-dozen others), @Hithchiker, I'm putting in a ghoomar instead. Forgive my horrible accent :p Like Gamal Abdel Nasser, instead of Kamal Abdel Nasser.

On request (I'm already behind on my notes for the 3 videos thread) I can put in various jhoomars.

 

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This is to wake up those dozy ones snoozing at the back: a Chirmi. It's usually quite, errm, popular


 

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This isn't too well known, outside India; in fact, outside Rajasthan. But you might like it, who knows? It's the Kalbeliya.

The real Kalbeliyas are stunningly beautiful (to my eye, comparing them with the washed-out pale ones who pass for beauties elsewhere); if you want to know more, look up Cobra Gypsy. These are the little tribes who were swept up by invading armies and dragged away as musicians and entertainers to the invaders' homelands, over the Hindu Kush mountains. Legend has it that the name came from these dreadful times; the name is supposed to mean 'Hindu killer', because so few survived the trek as captives.

These captives later percolated into Iran, then down into Egypt, till they migrated across the Mediterranean into Europe, where they were promptly called Gypsies, from their apparent country of origin. They still live in Europe, as the Roma, the most oppressed minority, in that supposedly civilised continent. Hitler killed more Roma, proportionately to their population, than Jews; there is nobody to mourn them, or to protect them today.

A Rajasthani speaker can learn Roma in a short time; he or she might even follow the language immediately. It's that close to the existing language in India.


 
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Couldn't do a Rajasthani jhoomar, and I'm wondering if substitution is allowed. Even football allows it, right?


 

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Change of pace. A bit egged up, but more or less authentic.

 

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Believe it or not, I couldn't get a single, simple video of simple Punjabi folk dancing the Bhangra. Till I get one, I'm passing on this one. Straight on out.

Instead, here's a Nati from Himachal; there are many Natis, one from Kangra, one from Sirmour, a different version in Kulu-Manali, and so on.

 
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This one's from Jammu; the women are Dogris.


 

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The Rouf dance you find a little further north.


 

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@Hithchiker

That's only Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal and J&K.

Another 21 states to go.

I wanted you to get a feel for how incredibly diverse we are. The same state has several sub-cultures, several different folk traditions within it. In Karnataka, we have a different cuisine every 50 or 60 miles or so. The Hyderabad Telugu, not even the Hyderabadi, who might be expected to be more north Indian, less like his neighbours, but the Telugu-speaking Telangana citizen has a different cuisine from the Rayalaseema Telugu, who is different in his tastes from the Andhra Telugu.

That's why I get a stitch in my side laughing at some of the generalisations we get on PDF. They're beyond hilarious. As are the bhakts.
 

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@Hithchiker

That's only Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal and J&K.

Another 21 states to go.

I wanted you to get a feel for how incredibly diverse we are. The same state has several sub-cultures, several different folk traditions within it. In Karnataka, we have a different cuisine every 50 or 60 miles or so. The Hyderabad Telugu, not even the Hyderabadi, who might be expected to be more north Indian, less like his neighbours, but the Telugu-speaking Telangana citizen has a different cuisine from the Rayalaseema Telugu, who is different in his tastes from the Andhra Telugu.

That's why I get a stitch in my side laughing at some of the generalisations we get on PDF. They're beyond hilarious. As are the bhakts.
Interesting, much diversity more than i expected ..I am just half way through will add more in my side too tomorrow..But i have noticed "Jhoomar" and Ghoomar though sound resemblance but not alike ..I have only men videos (will post more about its different version) as usually women videos are not posted and even if they do its restricted to there own section in weddings .
This isn't too well known, outside India; in fact, outside Rajasthan. But you might like it, who knows? It's the Kalbeliya.

The real Kalbeliyas are stunningly beautiful (to my eye, comparing them with the washed-out pale ones who pass for beauties elsewhere); if you want to know more, look up Cobra Gypsy. These are the little tribes who were swept up by invading armies and dragged away as musicians and entertainers to the invaders' homelands, over the Hindu Kush mountains. Legend has it that the name came from these dreadful times; the name is supposed to mean 'Hindu killer', because so few survived the trek as captives.

These captives later percolated into Iran, then down into Egypt, till they migrated across the Mediterranean into Europe, where they were promptly called Gypsies, from their apparent country of origin. They still live in Europe, as the Roma, the most oppressed minority, in that supposedly civilised continent. Hitler killed more Roma, proportionately to their population, than Jews; there is nobody to mourn them, or to protect them today.

A Rajasthani speaker can learn Roma in a short time; he or she might even follow the language immediately. It's that close to the existing language in India.


This is known a bit...Guess location...Almost same dress and moves
 

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Interesting, much diversity more than i expected ..I am just half way through will add more in my side too tomorrow..But i have noticed "Jhoomar" and Ghoomar though sound resemblance but not alike ..I have only men videos (will post more about its different version) as usually women videos are not posted and even if they do its restricted to there own section in weddings .

This is known a bit...Guess location...Almost same dress and moves
This was just six states; if I get into the southern, eastern and north-eastern states, there are dozens, literally dozens more.
  1. Same tribe, in fact.
  2. You have noticed what I wanted you to notice, and it is interesting to think that thread through.
  3. About Jhoomar and Ghoomar, the one I have put up for you and others is the Ghoomar; there are, in fact, many varieties of Jhoomar. Didn't want to flood you guys with these, and have you run screaming for shelter.
Keep it coming; this is fascinating.
 

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