03 August, 2021

Divya Bhatia

The director of Rajasthan International Folk Festival on why the fest is all about rare sounds, lost traditions and unique gigs.

Divya Bhatia

The Rajasthan International Folk Festival is about communities, traditions and threatened forms. What will you focus on this year?

We’ll look at the storytelling form Kaavad—a mobile shrine as well as a repository of epic stories, Maand and Jaangda, and Jasnathji Ke Bhope, who are ritual fire-walkers.

Are there tribal groups holding on to Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage?

Yes, many. Like Kathodi, Kalbeliya, Langa, Manganiyar, Jogi, Bhopa-Bhopi, Meghwal, Bhil, Garasia, Dholi, Merasi, Kamad.

Kavaad Banchana sounds mystical. Is the oral tradition of storytelling being reinvented?

There are both spiritual and mystical elements.

How would you blend Rajasthani with the Western and oriental in the fusion concerts?

With the help of a musical interlocutor, the artists explore each others’ music. Collaborations amongst Jeff Lang, Bobby Singh, Asin Langa and Bhungar Manganiyar is part of the showcase.

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