November 2009


Table of Contents

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Give to NFSC

You can donate online to strengthen the National Folklore Support Centre.

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Events Calendar

November 17

NFSC will be screening the film ‘Word Within the Word’ (Rajula Shah/India/English with subtitles/ 74min), 6 p.m.

November 19

Lecture on ‘Folk Music
in Temple
‘ by Geetha Rajagopal, 6 p.m.

November 25

Contemporary World Cinema (CWC) along with NFSC will screen the film ‘La Sconosciuta
(The Other Woman)’
(Guiseppe Tornatore/Italy/2007/col./120mins), 6 p.m.

November 26

CWC along with NFSC will screen the film Warm Water Under the Red Bridge‘ (Shohei Imamura/Japan/2001/col./ 120 mins), 6 p.m.

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NFSC Portal for Journals

The next issue of Indian Folklife on Mizo Folklore guest-edited by Margaret Ch. Zama will soon be available on the journal portal.

Indian Folklore Research Journal

Full archives of the Indian Folklore Research Journal are available on the portal.

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NFSC’s News

NFSC has entered into a collaboration with, a site for international collaboration and interdisciplinary discussion. Readers of this e-newsletter are requested to visit the site to discover what it has on offer.

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Volunteer at NFSC

We invite volunteers who can contribute online or at the Centre. Those interested in volunteering can register online here or send in profile, bio-data, letter of interest, areas of work and experience and commitment of time to the address provided below.

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Looking Ahead

Dear Friends,

Greeting from the National Folklore Support Centre!

A lot has been going on at the NFSC. We have released three new publications as part of the ongoing community archiving process. It is also indicative of the larger work we are doing for and with the various communities.

The colourful “Vagri Material Culture – Resource Book for the Vagri Community,” using both English and Vagri, is aimed at facilitating the Vagris in visualising their own culture, in addition to forming a repository of their cultural knowledge, using photography as the medium. As part of the ongoing community digital archiving process, this book has documented the Vagri material culture, covering eight districts in Tamil Nadu, South India. Their material culture, which is largely functional, utilitarian, adaptable, innovative and flexible, adheres to modernity through acculturation, assimilation and adoption of many modern inputs. The book has integrated the Vagri people into the documentation process both as viewers and recorders, as well as potential communicators of their own visual production across ethnic boundaries. The book is priced at Rs.800 for India and US$40 for the rest of the world. You can know more about this fascinating and colourful book by clicking on the image below.

The second book, a translation from Kannada, “Playing with the Children of the Forest,” is from the Community Digital Archives of the Jenukuruba. The book deals with revisiting the lives of rhe Jenukuruba children of Girijan Haadi, in Karnataka, South India, 15 years after the author wrote about them first. These children, who are one with nature, opened themselves to completely different dimensions of learning about the mysteries of nature. Sadly, now, the condition of this Haadi and its inhabitants is indicative of what will happen if alternative measures aren’t provided to people displaced from forests. The book paints a heart-tugging bitter-sweet picture of a childhood marred by social injustice, inequality, and government apathy. The book is priced at Rs.250 in India. You can get it for US$10 elsewhere. You can find out more about this moving book at our Wiki.

Learning and Embodying Caste, Class and Gender — Patterns of Childhood in Rural Tamil Nadu,” is based on ethnographic research carried out amongst children and youths in a rural low caste village in the Tanjavur district. By offering a new perspective on the current debates on children and childhood in South Asia, the Western categories and assumptions on childhood are questioned and challenged. Depending on factors such as caste and class, and ethnicity,there are many childhoods and these ethnographic insights deconstruct ideas of a pan Indian model of childhood. Price Rs.400 in India and US$15 elsewhere. You can visit our Wiki for more information about this book.

Details of these three new publications can also be found at the Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts website.

We have good news for the frequent vistors to our Journal portal. Our newly revamped Journal portal is up and running! Please do visit our new portal and let us know your views and suggestions. Never ones to rest on our laurels, we are now planning to use the Journal portal for publishing NFSC books and monographs.

Our Director, M.D. Muthukumaraswamy, has just returned after participating in an international workshop on “Perspectives on Festivity.” The event was held at the University of Oslo, Norway, with whom we have an existing relationship. Being a member of the research team for the Kanchi Project, he also made a presentation on the ongoing collaborative project between NFSC and the University of Oslo. Details of the workshop and the project can also be found at the University of Oslo website.

On its 30th Anniversary, Arulmigu Iyappan Nadaga Mandram, in collaboration with NFSC, organised ‘Folk Festival 2009′ on Friday, November 6, 2009 at Sethupattu, near Perungur, Kanchipuram District. NFSC helped organise and document the festival. Heavy rains meant a change in venue. However, despite the heavy showers, over 500 writers, story tellers and performers of diverse folk forms, from villages all across the state participated with enthusiasm in the festival.

Encyclopaedia Indica

More exciting news for folklore lovers. New entries and newer articles have been uploaded on our encyclopaedia website, aiming towards the completion of an ambitious project. Do visit the Encyclopaedia Indica website to check out the latest articles.

- Subhashini Sen

Programme Officer (Publications and Communication) NFSC

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. To unsubscribe from this newsletter, mail You can also give feedback, suggestions or criticism at 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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