Huddled up for Harul

In today's popular culture where individual existence overthrows community existence, and the feeling of belonging to one another is diffusing rapidly, to watch the villagers of Oli come together, wrap their arms around each other and move en mass to the enthusiastic thumps of the Dhol, was an incredible experience. The lilting voices singing in [...]

All in Oli

Our journey in the Himalayas began in the beautiful Jaunsar-Bawad region in Uttarakhand. With rows of hills covered by lush trees, and the mighty Yamuna and Tons rivers flowing through deep gorges, this region is scheduled under the Constitution. The scheduled status is meant to protect not only the natural resources of a region but [...]

Jal, Jangal, Jameen Humara hai! Humara hai!

Gaon Chodab nahi, Jungle chodab nahi, Mayi maati chodab nahi, Ladhayi chodab nahi! Band banaye, Gaon duboye, Karkhana banaye, Jungle kaate, khatan khode, Sanctuary banaye. Jal Jangal Jamin chhodi hamin kahan kahan jaye, Vikas ke Bhagwan bata, ham kaise jaan bachaye! Inspired by Bhagwandas Maji, an adivasi leader who led the agitation against the mighty [...]

Excited by our first peek!

As our yatra progresses with each of us saathis striving to place our political thought and understanding with respect to indigenous cultural practices, we got the privilege to take a peek inside the Garhwali lok sangeet and nritya, and with it, their traditional customs and practices. An organisation by the name of Mahila Navjagran Samiti, [...]

Thus the journey begins…

No work begins without an orientation. This Himalayan journey of ours too began with four days of discussions and explorations to orient ourselves. Uttarkhand or any place will not be comprehensible without prior understanding of the importance of religion, politics, differences that make up cultures, identities, economy, and development.  Uttarkhand thrives on diverse cultural practices. [...]