Popular Culture and the North Indian Oral Epic Dhola

Susan S Wadley

Abstract


Wadley’s article is about the Dhola, the roughly 300-year-old North Indian oral epic. Following the Dhola’s history and its story line, she traces how this tradition of oral narrative is being transformed to meet the demands of an increasingly modernised lower class male audience. In its modern version, the Dhola has been released in the form of audiocassettes, and is used in films, radio and television. She looks at how the story line, by incorporating modern urban and pop culture references-like film songs, catch phrases, and sexual and political innuendoes-continues to communicate and stay relevant to a modern audience.

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