Thursday October 18, 2018

Bollywood appreciates folk artists: All girl band from Nagaland

0
//
734
Republish
Reprint

 

Photo 1_1438430168 (1)

By Debaprio D. Choudhury 

New Delhi: Bollywood may be stereotypical and commercialized with its formula content but offers a “great platform” for folk artistes to display creativity on a large scale and gain popularity, feels an all-girl band from Nagaland – the Tetseo Sisters.

The band, which performs traditional folk music of Nagaland’s Chakhesang tribe and along with  folk fusion, consists of four Tetseo siblings – Azi, Mercy, Kuvelu and Alune – as its members.

Founded in 1994, the band is credited with being able to bring Naga folk music to a larger audience.

“We love a lot of things about Bollywood, while certain things make us cringe too. Indie music and folk have more recently found a place in Bollywood and that is good news,” Mercy of the Delhi-based band was quoted by a media outlet.

“For all its commercialism and stereotypical formula treatment, Bollywood is a great platform for artistes to gain popularity and make it good financially. It also gives great opportunity for creativity on a large scale,” she said and added that they get inspired by life.

Photo 3_1438430168 (1)


The folk quartet said their songs were about daily life existence, beauty, nature, family, love, friendship, death, pain and happiness. They sing “Li” (folk songs) in Nagaland’s Chokri dialect.

The band members, dressed up in their miniature versions of the traditional Chakhesang costumes, play instruments like Tati (one stringed instrument), Khro-khro (shakers), drums and Bamhum.

On their songs and music, Kuvelu said: “We sing some traditional (Naga) lyrics as well as some that we have written. ‘O Rhosi’, ‘Apulio Lizo’ (prayer song), ‘Ohe!’ and ‘Hiyo! Hiyo!’ are some of our well-appreciated songs. We also perform western contemporary music.”

“Our songs celebrate life and certain virtues and values. They talk about identity and describe a beautiful way of life close to nature,” added Kuvelu who is part of the quartet that has featured in many cultural events across India and abroad.

The band members said they were always open to varied experiences and opportunities to make new and different kinds of music.

Photo 2_1438430168 (1)The Tetseo Sisters said they were now on a mission to create awareness about the need for environment protection, gender equality and racial discrimination.

“We are not activists of any kind. But we want to highlight the need for environment protection, recycling, gender equality, racial discrimination and safety for women across the country,” said Alune, a key member of the band that has jammed with folk musicians from India and abroad.

Asked about their future plan, Azi told a media outlet: “Our dream is to go on a worldwide tour. Slowly but surely, we are pretty close to getting there.”

On the growing trend of all-girl bands in the northeast region, she said: “…it is probably because of the love of music inherent in people of the hills and the more socially egalitarian tribal culture that lets girls be more individualistic and free to pursue their interests.”

“However, there are many famous female vocals fronting many top bands from the rest of the country; so it’s not like there is a dearth of female musical talent around the country barring the northeast states. To us, it doesn’t really matter if a group is all male or female so long as they make great music,” she said.

Asked whether the band faced any problem in connecting with audiences in other parts of India, Mercy said good music does not need a language.

“We have been playing in Delhi for a while. Yes, we sing in a dialect spoken by very few people and that’s the beauty of it. Some things can’t be translated but thankfully with music, you just need to hit the right notes for the melody to capture your listener’s soul and do its job.

“We have had a variety of audiences and they have never faced any problems getting the intent of the songs, and we also try to share a gist of each song that we sing. Good music does not need a language. It speaks to the soul,” said Alune as the band’s popularity continues to grow in other parts of India.

(IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

India’s #MeToo Movement Makes The Most Glamorous Industry Its Subject Of Scrutiny

While India has been under the spotlight for sexual violence against women, sexual harassment at the workplace has seldom been under scrutiny.

1
#MeToo, women
Bollywood actress Tanushree Datta presents a creation by designer Sanjeet Anand at the Bangalore Fashion Week in Bangalore, India. VOA

India is in the midst of its #MeToo moment as leading figures from the country’s entertainment and media industries face a volley of accusations of sexual misconduct from growing numbers of women.

The firestorm has had a powerful impact. In recent days two leading editors have stepped down, a Bollywood production house has been shuttered, India’s top comedy troupe faces an uncertain future and a popular author has apologized.

#MeToo
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar (front) arrives in Venezuela’s Caribbean island of Margarita for the 17th Non-Aligned Summit in Venezuela. VOA

The allegations have also touched the government. India’s junior foreign minister, M.J. Akbar, is among those named by several women journalists for alleged misconduct during his previous tenure as a leading journalist and editor. He has not yet responded to the allegations and foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, did not comment either.

The trigger for India’s #MeToo campaign came from Bollywood actress Tanushree Datta who last month filed a police complaint in a 10-year-old case alleging that a leading actor, Nana Patekar, behaved inappropriately during a film shoot. He has denied the accusations and sent her a legal notice.

Soon after, a female comedian, Mahima Kukreja, accused a former member of comedy group All India Bakchod, Utsav Chakraborty, of sending her lewd messages and photos. Following similar accusations by other women, Chakraborty apologized on Twitter saying, “It’s a little too late, but I am sorry.”

The two allegations appeared to have touched a nerve among many women in media. During the past few days, there has been an outpouring on social media from scores of women journalists sharing their experiences of inappropriate behavior, ranging from suggestive messages to unsolicited advances with #MeToo.

#MeToo
Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington. VOA

The Network of Women in Media group called it a “watershed moment for all of us in journalism,” and said it encouraged more women to “document their accounts without fear or inhibitions.”

In the glitzy Bollywood industry, producer and writer Vinta Nanda, accused actor Alok Nath of sexually abusing her almost 20 years ago on a Facebook post. Nath has told a news agency, “It must have happened, but someone else would have done it.”

Nanda told reporters the movement taking place is “very encouraging, very enabling and this is the reason why I have brought it up.”

Lawyer Vrinda Grover who has helped draft India’s laws on sexual abuse and harassment, said that enabled by technology and social media, women had spoken out because in a new environment, “They will not be immediately blamed as in the past.” On the other hand, it is bringing consequences for harassers.

A high profile movie company, Phantom Films, was dissolved after HuffPost India published an investigation alleging that one of the founders, Vikas Bahl, had assaulted a female employee after a party in 2015. The other partners apologized for mishandling her complaint.

#MeToo
Queen” star Kangana Ranaut hasn’t been far behind in calling out Bahl,

A popular author, Chetan Bhagat, issued an apology after a woman uploaded a screen shot of a text in which the married writer said he wanted to “woo” her.

The editor of a leading newspaper, Times of India, K.R. Sreenivas, has been sent on leave pending an investigation after several women accused him of making sexual propositions. The political editor of another popular daily, the Hindustan Times, Prashant Jha, stepped down after a former colleague accused him of harassing her.

Amid a global movement to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct, Indian women have picked up courage, said journalist Rituparna Chatterjee. “The floodgates to women’s anger have been opened.”

Some women said they were inspired by the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the university researcher in the United States, who accused, without evidence, U.S. supreme court judge nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers. He is now a Supreme Court justice.

#MeToo
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

This is not the first time when efforts have been made to bring the #MeToo movement to India, but in the past it has quickly faded away. Last year for example, a crowd-sourced list of academics accused of harassment got little attention.

Also Read: Nana Patekar Denies Accusations of Sexual Harrassment

But lawyer Vrinda Grover calls the ongoing spontaneous campaign a “significant moment” in the effort to address workplace harassment. But she points out that the women who have spoken out largely represent the educated, urban elite and says it will be much harder for those working on shop floors, on construction sites and as household maids to bring attention to their stories.

While India has been under the spotlight for sexual violence against women, sexual harassment at the workplace has seldom been under scrutiny. (VOA)

One response to “India’s #MeToo Movement Makes The Most Glamorous Industry Its Subject Of Scrutiny”

  1. Although this exposure applies only to the famous men, it surely will open eyes of less successful men involved in this kind on action. But just like men many women employees are also lazy/useless/inefficient etc. So punishing those women employees could be tricky for bosses because they can claim punishment for their refusal for bosses’ advances.