Cultural Dances Of Saptari On Verge Of Disappearance

Famous historical and cultural folk dances of Mithila region of the country are now on the verge of disappearance.
Dance performers have also started quitting their profession after folk dances started disappearing gradually.
The folk dances which had been in existence since the 7th and 8th century, have gradually disappeared because of easy 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 proper preservation.
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 passage of time, use of TV, CD players and mobile phones has 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 investing 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 dances 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 in lack of resources.”
A few years ago, the dance company 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 are now at risk of disappearance in lack of dancers and easy access to technologies. The demand for folk dance used to be high, especially during marriage ceremonies, other auspicious events, fairs and festivals. Lately, traditional dances are performed only in the marriage ceremonies of remote areas, said Jay Narayan Yadav, of Mahadev Rural Municipality-1.

Source : TRN,