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Underrated !? NIT Durgapur celebrates the classics of Bengal.

Some talents remain largely underrated because the society who is responsible for its promotion, largely remains unaware of that. Indian culture, more specifically Bengali culture, has become a victim for this since decades.
Bengal, to be accurate ‘united Bengal’, could have boasted of its diverse cultures, had the 1947 tragedy #Partition_of_India not affected it. Despite the catastrophe, what remained in West Bengal is enough to prove – “সকল দেশের রানী সে যে আমার জন্মভূমি” (Eng: The queen of the lands is my Motherland).
But neither the masses not the leaders care to promote their own culture unless some personal benefit is attached with it. To be honest, the leaders promote nothing that falls outside their vote-bank. And Bengali, Indian, Asian audience is largely a backward audience (in words of Satyajit Ray). Moreover, ‘Colonial Hangover is Not Over Yet’. People boast of inculcating Western Culture in their lives after denouncing their own culture which holds rich historical and cultural significance.
Pic - Rajdeep Saha @NIT Durgapur (05.03.2024)

Chhau Dance

Chhau dance embodies a captivating fusion of martial arts, acrobatics, and traditional folk dance, captivating audiences with its dynamic performances. Distinguished by vibrant masks, decorative attire, and precise foot movements, Chhau dancers weave a mesmerizing tale through their graceful motions. Additionally, they skillfully incorporate props such as swords, shields, and sticks, adding depth and spectacle to their captivating displays.
Chhau dance has its roots in the 18th century among tribal communities in eastern India, particularly in Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha. Originally performed as part of religious festivities and cultural celebrations, it has since evolved into a unique art form. Chhau dance is practiced in Bengal mainly in the villages of Purulia and depicts the story of Goddess Durga killing the demon Mahishasura.

Importance of Chhau Dance

Chhau dance transcends mere entertainment, embodying profound cultural and historical value. Passed down through generations, it is deeply ingrained in the traditions of eastern Indian states. Beyond its artistic allure, Chhau carries spiritual weight.
Its mesmerizing to see how people from rural Bengal with no, or least, educational background bears the cultural heritage on their shoulders, whereas the educates masses remains largely unaware. The heavy mask on their faces does not become a barrier. The most interesting part is how two people, coordinates among themselves in a professional manner and enacts the role of the lion, as if an original lion enters the auditorium. The voice-over artists enrich the entire performance.
“The worst form of bondage is the bondage of dejection, which keeps men hopelessly chained in loss of faith in themselves… We forgot that in Asia great kingdoms were founded, philosophy, science, arts and literatures flourished, and all the great religions of the world had their cradles… For centuries we did hold torches of civilization in the East when the West slumbered in darkness, and that could never be the sign of sluggish mind or narrowness of vision.” [Rabindranath Tagore in his book Nationalism]
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