November 2008



  1. Digital Community Archives
  2. Encyclopaedia Indica
  3. NFSC News
  4. Events Calendar


The Journal of Ethnomusicology has been launched. It will be edited by our Administrative Officer Geetha Rajagopal. Submissions have been invited.

You can also find full archives of the Indian Folklore Research Journal on the site. Click on the journal names to access them.

Journals that have invited contributions include Crossovers, Journal of Tribal Studies and Journal of Theatre and Drama. Those interested in contributing may contact the editors directly at the contact details provided on the portal.


The NFSC has been invited to participate in conferences that have not been announced on our portal. More details under the NFSC News heading on the right’

For theatre performers and enthusiasts, the Theatre Methods 09 festival-fair to be held at Bovec, Slovenia, between July 6 and 12, 2009, provides ‘an opportunity to demonstrate methods of training in traditional theatre and to present contemporary works created as the result of traditional theatre training techniques’. Registration is open here.

Also, the Arts Network Asia has invited 2009 grant applications for ‘projects that encourage provocative exchanges and collaborations between and among various cultures and communities within Asia’. Details available on its website.

Mail for help with putting your conferences online.


New! You can now access a new resource that provides ‘a platform to document, describe and research proverbs belonging to different languages and cultures’ from the site.

The NFSC has commissioned three new courses titled ‘Folk Music of Bengal: A Theoretical Study’, ‘Tamil Narrative Theatre: Villupaattu’ and ‘South Indian Temple Architecture’ for the online learning site.
Professor Peter Claus, an eminent folklorist, would shortly be teaching a course entitled ‘Traditions Online: A Seminar on Constructing an Online Course and Teaching It’ on our site!


New! Saora tales have been uploaded on our wiki.

You can now access an archival collection of Kudiyattam in German and Sanskrit from our online learning site at this link.

The NFSC archives provide audio recordings of earlier lectures and research presentations. Look at the list of events on this page for more details on these recordings.


We invite volunteers who can contribute online or at the Centre. Online volunteers can help with our website and wiki as contributors or editors or by providing inputs for design. Physical volunteering at the Centre would involve helping with the organisation of public programmes or workshops in colleges, schools or corporate houses.

Student internships are also open throughout the year for periods of two weeks to a year. Internship opportunities are available in archiving, publication, non-profit administration and fieldwork. Students pursuing post-graduate degrees can incorporate internships with their projects. The NFSC does not pay any stipend but travel expenses will be met for those who would need to travel for fieldwork.

Those interested in volunteering or internships can register online here. You can also send in your profile, bio-data, letter of interest, areas of work and experience and commitment of time to the address provided below.

Students who intend to carry out their own research work, that is not part of the ongoing projects at NFSC, need to send in a one-page description of their project.

November 2008 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the National Folklore Support Centre!

We are proud to announce that we turned 11 years old on October 21, 2008. So, before I go on to what we have achieved this month and have planned for the month ahead, here’s looking over our shoulder at the milestones along the way’.

October 21, 1997 : NFSC is established

December 1999 : NFSC receives major grant from the Ford Foundation for the establishment of the Centre

April 2000 : First issue of Indian Folklife.

May 2000 : International workshop on ‘From Fieldwork to Public Domain’ conducted in Shillong, in association with the North Eastern Hill University. This path-breaking workshop shifts the focus of Indian folklore to public folklore and the presentation of minority cultures in the public domain. You can find feedback from our participants under the ‘Happenings’ head in this issue of the Indian Folklife.

January 2001 : Professor K.S. Haridasa Bhat Memorial Endowment Fund for making awards to deserving Kannada folk artists instituted.

February 2001 : Major international workshop on ‘Fieldwork Techniques using Digital Technology’ held at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Provides breakthrough in terms of using digital technology in ethnographic fieldwork. Details here..

2001 : IFRJ inaugural issue.

2002 : NFSC celebrates the 150th year of the Government Museum, Egmore, and the 50th anniversary of the Ford Foundation with what is probably the biggest folk festival to be held in the city. More than 200 performing artists, 100 puppeteers, 25 folk art painters participated in an event spanning 10 days. The event also marked the culmination of a series of pioneering folk art workshops conducted as public education programmes on about 15 different forms from the visual arts traditions in India. Read all about it here..

October 2002 : Symposium on ‘Folklore in the Public Sphere and Civil Society’ in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Made participants see that cultural documentation creates agency for the marginalized communities and is directly linked to civil society initiatives. Read more in this special issue of Indian Folklife.

2003 – 04: Major change in the focus of organization: which is to work towards detailed ethnographic research and documentation of marginalized and poor communities. Eighteen major projects initiated on oral epics of India to build a national digital archive.

March 2004 : Collaboratively organizes an Exhibition on Eco-Friendly Lifestyles, Arts and Crafts of North Eastern India at DakshinaChitra

July 2004 : The NFSC board of trustees creates the Shri Komal Kothari Memorial Endowment Fund for conducting public programmes and making awards in his name for deserving creative folk artists of India.

January 2007 : Silver Jubilee issue of Indian Folklife published.

2007 : Focus on establishment of Digital Community Archives. Launch of Encyclopaedia Indica. Tata Education Trust funds NFSC to support three more Digital Community Archives, North East Indian Fellowships and publications.

2008 : We have set up or are setting up all the infrastructure an academic discipline could aspire for – encyclopaedias, dictionaries, journals, conferences, online digital archives, online education portal, several publications and research collaborations ‘with 11 universities across India and several in Europe and the USA’? in short, an entire spectrum of academic activities in the service of poor and marginalized communities.

Do write in with your suggestions regarding what other activities we could undertake! Read on for more news and details of this month’s events at the Centre..


SIL Fieldworks Standard Edition 5.0 is an open source software. As announced in our last newsletter, it can be downloaded for free and will be useful for those interested in creating lexicons for the languages of indigenous communities. The NFSC will shortly be offering training in the use of this software on its online learning site. Meanwhile, we have begun working towards language dictionaries for indigenous communities, as part of the efforts to classify, describe and document materials being collected for our Digital Community Archives. This endeavour is also likely to enable computing in endangered languages like Gondi, Jenu Kuruba and Nari Kurava language.

Our fieldwork officers and collaborators continue to set up the Digital Community Archives Our field work officers recently returned from month-long field visits to Piparia, Madhya Pradesh, and H.D. Kote, Karnataka. Field work reports will soon be up on our site.

You can follow the links from for regular updates on the archives.


Kalamkari artists would be visiting the Centre to produce art for the Encyclopaedia. Read more about the art form and our resource persons in this pamphlet for a workshop in 2000.

We are currently accepting contributions for the Encyclopaedia Indica. Find out how you can contribute here.

Our first draft entry on the coconut tree has been uploaded here.


NFSC has been invited to the ‘Sharing Cultures 2009: International Conference on Intangible Heritage’. It is to be held on May 30 and June 1, 2009, at Pico Island, Azores, Portugal. Registration and submission of abstracts is open till October 31 here..

Our director M.D. Muthukumaraswamy had presented a lecture-cum-workshop on South Indian folklore at the University of Wurzburg in October. Following this, we have signed an MoU with Wurzburg University facilitating the exchange of information, training material, students and scholars between the institutions.

Our visitor of the month is Ute Husken, Professor, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. More details about the Department are available here


Friends in Chennai, please do make time to participate in our events to promote folk arts and contribute to discourse on folklore in the city!

Sundar Ganesan, director, Roja Muthiah Research Library, will be speaking on ‘Setting up an Archives‘ at the Centre at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 27.

The NFSC would be screening ‘Ghiju Bhai/Shaolin Monks’ on Thursday, November 13, at 6 p.m. as part of the Shikshantar Andolan series on ‘Re-membering Nai Taleem’

In association with the Tamilnadu Thiraipada Iyakkam, we would be screening ‘The Kite Runner’ (Mark Forster/USA/2007/120 mins) on Wednesday, November 19, and ‘The Classic’ (Kwak Jae-Young/Korea/2003/138 mins) on Thursday, November 20, at 6 p.m.

- Malarvizhi. J
Programme Officer (Publications and Communication)

National Folklore Support Centre (NFSC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, registered in Chennai, dedicated to the promotion of Indian folklore research, education, training, networking, and publications. The aim of the Centre is to integrate scholarship with activism, aesthetic appreciation with community development, comparative folklore studies with cultural diversities and identities, dissemination of information with multi-disciplinary dialogues, folklore fieldwork with developmental issues and folklore advocacy with public programming events. Folklore is a tradition based on any expressive behaviour that brings a group together, creates a convention and commits it to cultural memory. NFSC aims to achieve its goals through cooperative and experimental activities at various levels. NFSC is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and the Tata Education Trust.

The NFSC is a member of the Credibility Alliance.

For information on the NFSC Board of Trustees, Staff, Annual Audit Reports and details of programme development, click here.

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NFSC, 508, Fifth Floor, “Kaveri Complex”, 96, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam,
Chennai- 600034, Tamilnadu, India

Ph.:044-28229192, 044- 42138410, 044-28212706

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