The Bauls of Birbhum: Identity, Fusion and Diffusion
Authors: Bidhan Mondal,Dr. Sujay Kumar Mandal
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In the political climate of ardent nationalism the pride on a glorious, indigenous past was to be resuscitated through the revaluation and rehabilitation of local folk traditions, that led to my interest in collecting folklore and the increasing use (and misuse) of folk themes. The relationship between folklore and technology is a long debated one. In the earlier phases of folkloristics, technological development was seen as a threat to the conservation of folklife and scholars were busy in collecting and preserving ‘authentic’ tales, songs and handicraft before the homologating assault of modern civilisation destroyed them. This article intends to examine the nexus between folklore and technology in the context of Bengali Baul songs of Birbhum and their Sahajiya Sadhana, from a different perspective from the earlier. It takes interest in discovering the bricolage of humanism, the fusion and diffusion from beyond that helps increasing the “cultural syncretism” through Baul songs that has been delivering the secrets of Indian culture through their performances all over the world, without media and technology this could never be possible.
Key Words: Baul, Sahajiya, Change, Modernity, Adaptation, Negotiation, Globalisation.