19 January, 2021

This centre retrieves and preserves Tamil Nadu's rich folk tradition

This centre retrieves and preserves Tamil Nadu's rich folk tradition
It’s a homage to folk art in India. At a time when traditions are being steamrollered by the modernity juggernaut that demands you board only with a ticket which erases the markers of the previous culture, what’s left is an overpowering sense of nostalgia. But it’s a nostalgia which cries that nothing new can match up to the charm of the old, the original and the unique. In a society where folk art forms are trapped in specific subaltern communities and castes, and at a time when many performing art traditions are gasping on their last generational leg, the Folklore Resources and Research Centre (FRRC) at Palayamkottai has done a remarkable job of documenting and broad-basing traditions that otherwise might lose even their oral memory in another 30 years.

If Tirunelveli is known for its halwa, the Thamirabarani river and uncrowded temples, its twin-town Palayamkottai is the place to which connoisseurs and folk studies researchers flock. Since 1987, the centre has been single-mindedly retrieving, preserving and providing recognition to the rich oral traditions of Tamil...



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