Video | Khasi musical heritage of Meghalaya – introduction

Watch a series of short videos researched and filmed by Gayatri Indira Vijaysimha and Dev Narayan Chaudhuri (Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai). They show young and senior members of the Khasi community who enjoy traditional music for a variety of reasons. While some take pride in its religious significance, it is also taught for its artistic merits. Yet all respondents and performers share a common passion: to ensure that future generations will have access to a living music tradition.

Each part documents another facet of the revival and maintenance of Khasi music traditions in North-East India:

Part 1. Khasi music revival – the stories of two young duitara players >>

Duitara played by Kong Batthimai

Kong Batthimai, a vegetable vendor and singer celebrates music as a source of joy; for her and her community, it is also a means of attaining knowledge and enlightenment …
Duration: 04:28

Part 2. Khasi music and ethos – a tradition relating to nature >>

Jeebon Roy Memorial Creative Arts Akademi

The Khasi community’s sense of self-esteem and longing for a life in harmony with nature means that music is taught at a young age.
Duration: 01:31

Part 3. Khasi music – the resilience of a tradition in an age of globalization >>

Jeebon Roy Memorial Creative Arts Akademi

The Jeebon Roy Memorial Creative Arts Akademi has its origins in the Seng Khasi movement which began as a challenge to British domination and now counters the growing influence of western popular music by promoting the region’s cultural heritage.

Duration: 02:49

Part 4. Khasi cultural heritage taught and promoted by Snap Paka >>

Snap Paka school ensemble

Being rooted in the Seng Khasi movement, members of the “Snap Paka” school ensemble celebrate their culture and religion by playing several music instruments in traditional attire. The thanksgiving festivities of rural communities provide senior musicians with an opportunity to tour the Khasi Hills.
Duration: 04:42

Part 5. Khasi music and education – how a local tradition secularizes itself >>

Prof. Helen Giri – Martin Luther Christian University

At the Martin Luther Christian University in Shillong, traditional Khasi music is taught as a post-graduate subject. The interview concludes with a brief vocal and instrumental performance by Kerius Wallang.
Duration: 02:18

Part 6. Khasi music by Kerius Wallang & film credits >>

Singer Kerius Wallang

A vocal and instrumental performance by Kerius Wallang accompanies the film credits.
Duration: 01:15

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