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Disappearing Holi songs – a cause for concern among the elderly

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March 23, Sarlahi: The fervour of the Holi festival has already broken out in many districts in Province No 2 as the festival of colour is at hand. Nevertheless, the elderly people have expressed their concern over the disappearing Holi songs and eroding culture of celebrating the festival traditionally.

Earlier, the locals were seen singing Holi songs (popularly known as Jogira) and dancing to those traditional songs especially during the night in the run-up to Holi. Lately, neither they play the drums and sing Jogiras. One such popular Jogira song is ‘Jogira Sara ra ra..”

Umashankar Shah of Lalbandi Municipality-7 in Sarlahi district shared that such songs were sung since the beginning of Basanta Panchami to Fagu Purnima (Holi), according to the lunar calendar.

Kavilashi Municipality’s Dinesh Raya recalled, “The artists used to sing Jogira and play traditional musical instruments, especially the Dhol drum, at public spaces during the nights. It’s been long I have not seen such performances for a long time.”

The disappearing culture of singing Jogira and dancing during the Holi is attributed to the increasing number of youths flocking abroad or migrating to another place in prospects of employment, opined Thaga Saha of Salempur.

The Holi festival used to bring together the family and society as they would indulge in merriment which would foster fraternity and brotherhood. “But the influence of cosmopolitan culture and nuclear family setup have disintegrated the society and the Holi celebration also lost the luster,” argued Shah.

“There’s more animosity than goodwill among the people which has also contributed to the disappearance of traditions such as the celebration of Holi,” viewed Shah.

Another local Kedar Shah said that the traditional practices, art and cultures were on the brink of extinction, thanks to the blatant imitation of the foreign culture and fashion.

Chotelal Shah opined that the traditional values, custom, cultures should persevere as they shaped the unique identity of Nepal.

The vulgar Bhojpuri songs have replaced the traditional Jogiras which used to carry religious messages, according to Shah. Much to the dismay, the local media also prefer to play such songs at the outset of the festivity. Shambhu Ghimire said that the decreasing fanfare of Holi was a cause for concern.

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