Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, May 24, 2018 02:08:42 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Aspects of our Folklore

photo by

By
20th-Apr-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Syed Ali Ahsan :
Before we can come to know the proper nature of the Folklore of Bangladesh we should know and appreciate the particular culture and environment or in a word, civilization which gave birth to it. It is not possible for a Bengali of today to understand the truth underlying the unsophisticated beauty and charm of folk melody though he may be moved by it as he is moved by many other sentimental things of life. This is because our present-day world is town-centred and sophistication has become the key-note of our culture. The geniune folklore of Bangladesh is the product of the Middle Ages of Bengali Literature when poetry was the product of community living unperturbed in a world of economic well-being and mythological inheritance. I am leaving out of consideration the so-called folksongs and folktales of East which are of comparatively recent growth and show signs are of contact with urban life. Gunai Bibi, for example, is actually a modem tale told by villagers but villagers who had been to towns, like Barisal and Dhaka. It will not be difficult for an analytical mind to discover in this ballad a poet appealing to himself initially and therefore to the community. Here the appeal is not commensurate with the community itself. However, in this discussion I am not concerned with the folklore which has developed only recently as an outcome of the impact of urban culture on rural affability. I am concerned here with the genuine folklore of the Middle Ages when poetry had not reduced itself to a condition of stalemate but developed from the widest possible appeal. Though it is quite possible that the most significant types of modern Bengali poetry have elements in common with the folk poetry of the Middle Ages.
As with English poetry so with Bengali poetry, the folk measure is provided by the traditional ballad. Without going into the controversy as to whether the words of these ballads were invented by individuals for the community or whether these grew spontaneously out of the community, we can say that these ballads were sung by gayens the, trouvere of Bengal at social gatherings and at midnight concourses of village folk. We know for certain that these ballads appealed to and were adopted by the community. They were handed down from generation to generation. Let us now try to find out their invariable characteristics by considering an example, Kajal Rekha. It depicts the story of a poor girl destined to marry a prince who was covered with needles all over his body. Even his eyes were shut. Kajal Rekha plucks out the needles one after another, but before plucking out the two needles of the eyes she wanted to refresh herself by taking a dip in the river. While still in water, she saw a girl passing by the bank whom she buys as her slave with her gold bracelets. She instructs the slave-girl to go to the temple where her husband was lying in bed with needles in his eyes. The slave-girl goes near the prince, plucks out the needles from his eyes and deceives him by declaring herself as his wife and Kajal Rekha as the slave-maid. Kajal Rekha, passes her days in agony and after various interesting trials which both the girls undergo, Kajal Rekha ultimately regains her position and the mischievous slave girl is buried alive.
Kajal Rekha is a true ballad in so much as it is anonymous and has been handed down for centuries as an oral tradition. There is a directness of narrative without any comment, criticism or probing into motives. There is a definiteness of the visualization, that is, of the details. This definiteness is a striking characteristic of our ballads; note, for example, that the slave-girl plucks out from the eyes of the prince, not several, but two needles.
Unlike the Scotch ballads, the supernatural element does not play an important role in the ballads. Whereas in Scotch ballads we get the rendezvous made by the dead corpse or the mysterious ringing of the bells, in our ballads on the other hand we get a pointed sense of realism in their social settings and human life as a part of nature and not an antimony to it.
In Mahua, Malua, Dewan Bhabnai, Kamala and Dewana Madina there is deep complaint of unhappy, tragic love which can better be said a tragic conception of life. There is also an extreme simplicity in the mechanism of verse, the verse is not artificial and the rhythms are instinctive.
These characteristics of Ballads are direct reflection of the social environment within which this poetry was shaped. Whereas modern folk poetry is away from simplicity of diction, our traditional folk poetry is spontaneous, simple, objective as speech itself, and close to actual life. Once upon a time, it had a wide community of appeal.
Northern Mymensingh differs from other parts of this land in its rugged physical contour. Some of the ballads of Mymensingh express this ruggedness through superstition and gloom.
The environing physical hostility made men hardy and courageous in action in everyday affairs, in love and in dark adventures. And they boastfully talked about these things. The experience of an individual was a matter for open celebration; it was a common possession of the community.
The folklore of Bangladesh includes within its fold all kinds of folksongs, folktales, superstitions, local legends, proverbs, riddles and nursery rhymes. Riddles are probably, the oldest literary improvisation of the people. There is a beautiful riddle in Chandi Mangal of Kabikankan - “While alive he is silent, but clamerous when dead; God has not given any skin as his coating - But we want his assistance for sounding good omens.” It means a conch-shell.
While finishing a tale, the trouvere generally says something like this -
‘Thus my story endeth;’
‘The Natiya thorn withereth.’
‘Why, O Natiya, thorn, dost wither?’
‘Why does the cow on me browse?’
‘Why, O cow, dost thou browse?’
‘Why does thy neat-herd not send me?’
‘Why, O neat-herd, dost not send the cow?’
‘Why does thy daughter-in-law not give me rice?’
‘Why, O daughter-in-law, dost not give rice?’
‘Why does my child cry?’
‘Why, O child, dost thou cry?’
‘Why does the ant bite me?’
‘Why, O ant, dost thou bite?’
‘Koot, koot, koot.’
    -Essays by Syed Ali Ahsan

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

About Rohingya children`s bleak future


FOLLOWING numerable foreign dignitaries, ministers, bureaucrats, Nobel laureates and the Pope -  a Bollywood celebrity  visited the Rohingya camps  commenting that the future of Rohingya children is deeply uncertain. The Indian actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra said Rohingya children can have a chance in the future only with ...

Football »

Diego Gonzalez of Argentina`s Racing Club (left) fights for the ball with Lucas Romero of Brazil's Cruzeiro during a Copa Libertadores soccer match in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on Tuesday.


Cricket »

South Africa's AB de Villiers retires from international cricket


South Africa's star batsman AB de Villiers on Wednesday announced he was retiring from all international cricket after a 14-year career. "I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect," he said in a statement. "After 114 Test matches, 228 ODI's and 78 T20 Internationals, it is ...

City »

Principal Golum Mahmudunnabi Dollar speaking at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club on Wednesday demanding implementation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's assurance for MPOs of the institutions in the upcoming national budget 2018-19.


Entertainment »

Amyra Dastur joins Kangana, Rajkummar for Mental Hai Kya


The young actress Amyra Dastur after making her impact in the south film industry is set to impress Bollywood with the announcement of multiple projects this year. Amyra received rave reviews for her performance in Kaalakandi early this year with Saif Ali Khan is now seems to have an interesting ...

Entertainment »

Tazin buried at her father`s grave


Entertainment Report :Popular TV actress and host Tazin Ahmed was buried in the city’s Banani graveyard on Wednesday afternoon. She was laid to rest at her father’s grave at about 2:50pm following a namaz-e-janaza at Gulshan Azad Mosque after Zohr prayers.  Tazin died of cardiac arrest at Regent Hospital in ...

International »

Speculation mounts over US push for Iran regime change


AFP, Washington :Speculation is swirling over the prospect of US willingness to push regime change in Tehran, as US officials including Washington's top diplomat urge Iranians to "choose for themselves" their government."The Iranian people get to choose for themselves the kind of leadership they want," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ...

Back Page »

Honest earning


Abdul Muqit Chowdhury :The acceptance of fasting or any prayer to Allah depends on lawful honest earning. The persons, related with trade and commerce, thus, should evaluate their earnings and background of economic relations in the society. This is very much applicable particularly in the month of Ramzan. Jakat and ...

Editorial »

Attitude is that supporters of government must enjoy all the benefits conceivable


THE day before yesterday, the Cabinet approved a draft of the Government Telephone, Cellular and Internet Policy-2018 raising the mobile phone allowance for ministers and secretaries to Tk 75,000 from Tk 15,000. The draft also introduced a number of changes to the existing policy framed in 2004.After a certain period ...

City »

Ship Tajuddin of Bangladesh Coast Guard left for India in a goodwill visit from Patenga in Chittogram yesterday.


Sports »

Zia finishes at 13th position in Kolkata Open Chess


GM Ziaur Rahman Zia finished at 13th position in the 3rd Kolkata International Open Grandmasters Chess tournament which was held in Kolkata, India. GM Zia bagged 6.5 points out of 9 games and tied for 7th to 18th places, in tie-breaking system GM Zia became 13th. In the 9th or ...

Football »

Montreal Impact's Saphir Taider (right) challenges L.A. Galaxy's Perry Kitchen during first-half MLS soccer game action in Montreal on Monday.


International »

Erdogan hints Turkey may ban some Israeli goods because of Gaza violence


Reuters, Istanbul :President Tayyip Erdogan has hinted that Turkey might consider imposing a ban on imports of some Israeli goods over the killing of Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces on the Gaza border, media reported on Tuesday.Erdogan, who is campaigning for re-election in June, last week hosted Muslim leaders who ...

International »

Syrian army, police celebrate recapturing all of Damascus


AP, Beirut :Syrian state TV says the military and police forces are celebrating recapturing the last neighborhoods in Damascus that were held by the rebels and the Islamic State group.Al-Ikhbariya TV broadcast footage of a ceremonial police motorcade entering the Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood with sirens blaring on Tuesday, a day ...

Business & Economy »

Hafizur Rahman, Chairman of Runner Group, receiving the 'President's Industrial Development Award-2016' from the President Md Abdul Hamid at Osmani Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news