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SAPNE Hosts 5th Annual South Asia Folk And Oral Literature Festival

Bijoy Misra

SAPNE hosts 5th Annual South Asia Folk and Oral Literature Festival

It is said that Man knew how sing before he learned how to speak.  The rhythm of life rhyming with the rhythm of Nature produces the harmonious resonance that we call the song of man.  When such songs become traditional, we call them song of the people or folk-song in brief.    We don’t know the composers, but they represent the culture and values of people residing in various parts of the earth.  They express the pleasure and grief, joy and sadness, bountifulness and starvation, vigor and decay, love and separation of people.  They mirror life in its everyday living with innocence, candor and simplicity, so forms the culture of a land.

South Asia is the home of myriads of folk songs packed in its forests, mountains, rivers and field, sung by people for thousands of years.  Our habits, conduct, and our instincts are shaped by the folk culture of the land.  Some try to suppress them, but the basic human expression formed in time tacitly shapes our thinking, our decision making and our personality in society.  It is not clear if the culture and conduct eventually convert themselves into genetic signatures.

South Asian Poets of New England (SAPNE) made an effort to locate and celebrate the folk literature in South Asia through an August open-air meeting five years ago.  Members tried to recite and sing the folk poetry of the area they liked. A medley of literature and music developed through the Assembly in time. The organization has been rewarded with a grant from Massachusetts Council of Art to host an International Folk Literature and Oral Poetry Festival, which is scheduled for September 25. In preparation for it, the organization plans to host its Annual Folk and Oral Literature Festival on Sunday August 22.

The program is scheduled at 10 AM and will be conducted by Zoom.  It is open to all.  In order to make the event educational, the following protocol is adopted

1.           The poet selects a representative composition from the area that he/she is familiar with.

2.           The poet introduces the composition with a five-slide introduction. 

The slides are:

(a)         A map indicating the location of the area – first slide

(b)         A representative picture of the area – second slide

(c)          A descriptive context of the song – third slide

(d)         Representative picture of the event, or the costumes of the area – fourth slide

(e)         An English interpretation or the translation of the song – fifth slide

3.           The poet presents the song in the language through recitation or music.

The attached flyer lists people who can be contacted for guidance.  Bijoy Misra misra.bijoy@gmail.com can be contacted for more support information.

South Asian Poets of New England is a sister organization of the non-profit India Discovery Center.  The poets meet every quarter to present their own compositions or they recite classical works.  All languages are welcome.  Everyone is invited to participate in the meetings.    Please contact Chandu Shah at emailchandushah@gmail.com for attending an event organized by SAPNE.  Events of SAPNE are archived at https://www.sapne.boston.  The SAPNE Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/sapneboston


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