Wednesday, 19 June, 2024
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Cultural dances of Saptari on verge of disappearance



By Dev Ram Prasad Yadav, Saptari, Oct. 4: Famous historical and cultural folk dances of the Mithila region of the country are now on the verge of disappearance.

Dance performers have also started quitting the traditional profession after folk dances started gradually disappearing.   

The folk dances which had been in the existence since the 7th and 8th centuries have gradually vanished because of the availability of mobile phones and CD players.

The ancient folk dances like King Salahesh, Shitwasta, Runajhana, Jungali Badhshah, Gopichand and others have reached the vanishing stage due to the lack of preservation efforts.

Hareram Yadav, 51, of Rajbiraj Municipality in Saptari, sharing his folk dance experience, said that he had started performing the traditional dances at the age of 20.

With the passing of time, the increasing use of TV, CD players, and mobile phones have been growing among the people and their attraction towards the folk dance has diminished. As a result, it has reached the vanishing stage, he said.

“We lost our ancestral profession after the dance company which was established by spending a huge amount of money was shut down,” Yadav said.

Sharing his bitter experience, he said, “Earlier, I used to visit rural areas to perform folk dance, spending a lot of money as the cultural dances were a matter of pride for us. I had formed a 20-member group of dancers from the money I made by performing dances, but unfortunately, we had to close it for lack of resource.”

A few years ago, the dance company had earned around Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 700,000 a year, said another dance performer.

Many dancers associated with the company are now working in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other nations as migrant workers.

Another dancer Badri Ram said that more than 100 dance companies had already been closed in Saptari district.

Hundreds of people became jobless after the closure of famous dance companies. The folk dances were mostly affected during the Maoist conflict and they were now at risk of disappearance due to the lack of dancers and availability of technologies. The demand for folk dance used to be high especially during marriage ceremonies, other auspicious events, fairs and festivals. Lately, traditional dances are mostly required in the marriage ceremonies of remote areas in the marriage ceremony, said Jay Narayan Yada, of Mahadev Rural Municipality-1.