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Chutney music: A story of women empowerment

the symbol of the genre suggests celebration of female body


This video is an analysis of the Trinidadian Chutney music by Dr. Kumar Mahabir. He has a YouTube channel with his name, where he focuses on the Indo-Caribbean relations. He is an eminent anthropologist and a professor at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. It was uploaded on 6th of July in 2012. It is interesting to note how this music with its origins in a Hindu wedding ceremony of cooking night. The dance was triggered by the labour class women of the place. Chutney is an Indian delicacy, used-as a side dish in most of the Indian households. it is a mixture of various spices, also known as a pickle. The Music is native to Trinidad and is a hypnotic, explosive, fast-tempo one with simple refrain verse (repeating the signature line) with Hindi lyrics.

It was performed by women mainly, though now it is a male dominant space. The women, who used to perform it, gave it a private space and involved in erotic dances. While the ceremony was going on, no man was allowed to enter the space. Today, the genre has been reinvented and one has different variations in it with Chutney soca (a Trinidadian style music), Chutney parang (Trinidadian folk music performed at Christmas), Chutney gospel (ethics), etc.

a still from the Chutney soca dance
a still from the Chutney soca dance

The researcher has done a study of some chutney songs which here I would discuss. Down the ages, one has seen how women have been looked as a property by women. They are possessions and an entity of the private sphere. Thus a release from the longish submission is always impossible. However, this genre of Music, a dominant working of Trinidadian females, comes across as a crucial step towards self- development.

The Dance and Music performed in it, as Dr Kumar observes, gives them liberty to perform. This liberty is inclusive of a celebration of their body, which is unthinkable within the public space they are devoid of. Today, the performances have increased and found a great excursion of women in the public domain. In 1960’s, when the feminist movement was at its peak, this traditional genre broke out and opened up ways for these women artists. These artists were disdained in the initial years (Alice Jan and Champa Devi being the first of them), and were regarded as immoral.

In the later years, the dancing and singing was made much available to the women of Trinidad. The performances brought profitable amount for them. The lines between the private and the public sphere are now blurred and it is seen how the exposure is given to the women who stand aside with men. They perform, dance, sing and even register their own subjection before the audience. The songs are their verbal accounting of denial of submission and being restricted to a private space.

The research further moves giving details of the outreach of this genre. Not only literature, but media, social media and even renowned music accounts include celebrate their existence. Therefore, one sees how a minor feminine genre has achieved greater names in and about the world.

(Megha is a student at the University of Delhi. She is pursuing her masters and has done her studies in german language.) GMAIL-

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YouTube videos may not help toddlers learn new things

The toddlers preferred watching dance performances by multiple artists with melodic music, advertisements for products they used, and videos showing toys and balloons

YouTube Logo
YouTube Logo. wikimedia commons
  • Many videos may suggest that toddlers learn from Youtube videos
  • However, this might not be true
  • Toddlers are mostly attracted to music and dance videos

Do you let your toddler watch YouTube videos? It may not help them to learn new things, a study suggests.

The study results indicate that toddlers up to two years of age could be entertained and kept busy by their parents showing them YouTube clips on smartphones, but they may not learn anything from the videos.

Youtube may not help toddlers learn new things. Flickr
Youtube may not help toddlers learn new things. Flickr

“Young children are attracted to smartphones more than other forms of media and there is a need for more techno-behavioural studies on child-smartphone interaction,” said the lead author of the study, Savita Yadav from the Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology in New Delhi.

For the study, published in the journal Acta Paediatrica, the researchers recruited 55 toddlers between 6 to 24 months old, using professional and personal contacts and visited by two observers, for at least 10 minutes.

Also Read: YouTube videos can now be watched on WhatsApp messenger

The observers recorded the toddlers’ abilities to interact with touchscreens and identify people in videos and noted what videos attracted them the most. The toddlers were attracted to music at six months of age and interested in watching the videos at 12 months.

Make your kids play outdoors to boost their eyesight
Toddlers are more attracted towards music and dance videos. wikimedia commons

They could identify their parents in videos at 12 months and themselves by 24 months. They started touching the screen at 18 months and could press the buttons that appeared on the screen, but did not understand their use.

The toddlers preferred watching dance performances by multiple artists with melodic music, advertisements for products they used, and videos showing toys and balloons. IANS

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