Baul Music Comes To Town
A surreal evening at Bharat Bhavan | Text and Photos by Akhil Rajarathinam
On Dec 09, 2014

Parvathy Baul, one of the country's top Baul musicians from Bengal impressed her audience with her magical music. This Baul music evening was jointly organised by students of Vismaya Max Animation and Bharath Bhavan. As part of the evening at Bharath Bhavan, the students created a mini model of a Bengali village using bamboo, old sacks and wood.

About Baul: The Baul are a group of mystic minstrels from Bengal which includes Indian State of West Bengal and the country of Bangladesh. Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but their membership mainly consists of Vaishnava Hindus and Sufi Muslims.They can often be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments. Not much is known of their origin. Lalon Fokir is regarded as the most important poet-practitioner of the Baul tradition. Baul music had a great influence on Rabindranath Tagore's poetry and on his music.

Though Bauls comprise only a small fraction of the Bengali population, their influence on the culture of Bengal is considerable. In 2005, the Baul tradition was included in the list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.

Text and Photos by Akhil Rajarathinam



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