Kong Batthimai, a vegetable vendor and singer, accompanies herself on the duitara (four-stringed lute). Her song celebrates music as a source of joy; and also a means for attaining knowledge and enlightenment. She narrates how radio and television inspired her to learn the duitara from her grandfather who lives in the village.

The same instrument is taught and performed by Meban Lyngdoh, Assistant Professor at the Martin Luther Christian University Shillong. He expresses the need for reviving Khasi traditional music.

Duration: 04:28 – Researched and filmed by Gayatri Indira Vijaysimha and Dev Narayan Chaudhuri (Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai) © 2010. This is a cutout of their video documentary on the Khasi music of Meghalaya edited for the Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation.

Learn more: Khasi musical heritage of Meghalaya >>