Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tharu woman plays mirdang for the first time

By Ghanashyam Chaudhary

Jhumara dance is culturally attached to the Tharus. It is performed in Tharu festivals like Maghe, Dashain and Deepawali. In the past only men used to perform this dance and entertain during the festivals. Two men wear the dress of women as dancers and another male plays the Mirdang (Madal). I had not seen a woman playing Mirdang in my thirty two years of age. I have seen elsewhere this type of dance where only men played this instrument as Mirdangi. Mirdangi is the person who plays the Mirdang and is the leader of this dance form. There are number of beats of Mirdang which inspires the dancers to change their style while dancing.

Jhumara Dance of Bhelai, Mahendrakot from Kapilvastu: Photo by Ghanashyam Chaudhary
Since a decade Tharu women started  to dance in Kapilvastu although the Tharu community is dominated by male. The women did not dare to play Mirdang. I was amazed to witness women coming upfront to  be a Mirdangi in the fourth district level Jhumara and record dance competition in Kopawa-4 of Kapilvastu. This has sent a positive vibe among Tharu women telling they can do what they did not tried earlier due to number of sociocultural belief.

Fourth District Level Jhumara and Record Dance Competition,
11-12 November 2012 at Kopawa-4, Kapilvastu (Nepal): video by Ghanashyam Chaudhary

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