September 2010


Table of Contents

From our Orissa Digital Community Archive

From our Madhya Pradesh Digital Community Archive

From our Seraikella Digital Community Archive


Encyclopaedia Indica

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Gives to NFSC

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

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Events Calendar:

September 3

Marupakkam along with NFSC will screen the film ‘La Condena (The Sentence)’ by the famous Spanish director Mario De La Torre and a short documentary ‘Had-Anhad (Bounded-Boundless)’, directed by Shabnam Virmani at 6:00 p.m.

September 14

‘Meet the artist’ session with script writer for koothu performances, S.M.Thiruvengadam at 6:00 p.m.

September 21

TamilNadu Thiraipada Iakkam (TTI) along with NFSC will screen the film ‘BalDepatures‘ a film by Yojiro Takita, at 6:00 p.m.

September 22

TTI along with NFSC will screen the film Monsieur Ibrahim‘ directed by Francois Dupeyron at 6:00 p.m.

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NFSC Portal for Journals:

We have uploaded a collection of articles by Prof S. Carlos on NFSC Books & Monographs titled ‘Collected Articles on South-Indian Folklore’. This is our second collection on NFSC Books and Monographs. The first book to be uploaded was Prof Simon Charsley’s ‘Madiga and Dalit’. As you all must be aware that this service was launched as there is no existing software to help authors and scholars to publish their books and monographs on-line. Keeping with our tradition for innovation, we have customized the open journal system to do the same. You too can send in your proposals to
The 9th issue of Indian Folklore Research Journal is out and has been uploaded on our Journal Portal. Full archives of the Indian Folklore Research Journal and Indian Folklife are available on the Journal Portal.

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Volunteer at NFSC:

We invite volunteers who can contribute online or at the Centre. Online volunteers can help with our website and wikias contributors or editors. Volunteering at the Centre would involve helping organise programmes or workshops in colleges, schools or corporate houses. 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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Ola Friends!

It is that time of the month again, when we bring you up to date with all our activities here at NFSC. And it could not have come sooner! All our colleagues are back from field visits and we are bursting with news!

From our Orissa Digital Community Archive:

image003Our colleagues Vijay and Vinodh have returned from an eventful trip to our digital community archive at Sinapali, in Naupada district, Orissa. Along with our field staff, they initiated the process of consolidation of data into detailed reports. A list of possible reports on the data was drawn and our field coordinator Mahendra Kumar Mishra got down to it directly.

The field staffs were also trained in using the adobe software. While Vijay was occupied showing them the basics of the Adobe package, Vinodh discussed plans for publishing a multimedia book with the data available at the archive, as done at the Karnataka, Tamilnadu, and Jharkhand archives. Plans for publishing a Gond dictionary, on the lines of the Vagri dictionary, were discussed. Mishra was enthusiastic about the idea and said that he had already collected about 600 words and that he would submit a detailed proposal for this project soon.

From our Madhya Pradesh Digital Community Archive:

image005Our two other colleagues Aruvi and Sarah’s trip to Madhya Pradesh has been no less productive. They managed to consolidate and collect details of all documentation done at the archive till now. From the video library at the archive, two more have been uploaded on our You Tube channel. You can view them here.

The field staff at Madhya Pradesh is also hard at work, editing three documentaries about various issues and problems faced by the community. They are essentially trying to capture the threat the Gond culture faces as a result of the inconsiderate displacement from the forests. Watch out for these three videos, soon to be uploaded on our You Tube Channel!

From our Seraikella Digital Community Archive:

image007Sarah, Aruvi and I are just back from an exciting trip to the Seraikella Digital Community Archive. Intended to capture the essence of Seraikella Chhau dance, the trip was packed with extensive photo shoots of not just the artists, but of the rural landscape as well, as it played an integral role in defining the art form as it is today.

The efforts are towards publishing a community resource book, with descriptive photographs, taken by Puduvai Ilavenil, of the dance form in both English and Hindi. It will contain details of the origin and evolution of the dance form. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?! Well, this is one more attempt to create a cultural repertoire, accessible to the community and to the larger society. We plan to bring out the publication at the earliest. Watch out for exact details of publications so that you can grab your copy early!

NFSC News:

image009While our colleagues were out in the field, having an exciting time, the rest of us at Chennai had an equally eventful month. Our Center has been busy conducting book exhibitions in Ethiraj College for dissemination of information and NFSC publications. Plans are underway for conducting ‘Meet the artist’ program, a monthly event that brings you face to face with renowned folklore artists and allows for a fruitful interaction. Intended to engage in discussions and become more aware about dying folk traditions. The event will kick start this month with a session with S.M.Thiruvengadam, an eminent script writer for koothu performances. He hails from the ‘sengaadu’ village in the Thiruvannamalai district and inspite of discontinuing schooling in ninth standard, has more than 126 plays to his credit! As a script writer who has faced and tackled many challenges to be where he is today, his experiences in the field are definitely worth listening to. Such an engagement will be a step further in improving our awareness of this almost extinct art form, a much needed insight given its current condition. So be here on September 14, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. for an interesting interaction you won’t forget in a hurry!

Our colleague Manivannan has many such public programs lined up for you! Apart from these, he is planning to conduct village level theatre workshops for the Narikurava children in Senji, Kezh and other Benathur regions. To supplement our repertoire of oral narratives, we are planning to undertake a field level story collection project that documents tales and narratives of artists like ‘Pownama’ and ‘Ponkasi’ – women story tellers form Kezh-Benathur and Alamelupuram respectively. The stories will revolve around the cultural practices of the community, explaining their rituals and customs.

Looks like we are in for a whirlwind of activities! But don’t worry; we haven?t forgotten to schedule our regular film screenings. Watch out for Yojiro Takita’s ‘Departures’ on September 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm and Francois Dupeyron’s ‘Monsieur Ibrahim’ on September 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm at our center, organized in association with Tamil Nadu Thiraippada Iyakkam. In association with Marupakkam, we are screening a short film ‘La Condena (The Sentence)’ by the famous Spanish director Mario De La Torre and a short documentary ‘Had-Anhad (Bounded-Boundless)’, directed by Shabnam Virmani on September 3, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.

Encyclopaedia Indica:

Encylcopaedia Indica will soon be coming with an interactive website. Plans are afoot to make the website more reader – and kid-friendly. In the meantime M.D. Muthukumaraswamy’s NFSC Lore is slowly but steadily building up a formidable collection of folktales. This week’s offering is why the Juniper has berries. You can also find out “How the flax was given to men”, “How the blossoms came to the heather” and many more!

Keep reading and enjoy!

And that’s all from our end dear readers! As always, we look forward to your feedback and participation in our public programs and screenings. Until next time, Adieu!

- Bhargavi Narayanan

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, folklore advocacy with public programming events and digital technology with applications to voice the cultures of the marginalised and historically disadvantaged communities. 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.

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