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The Ground That Grows Songs

The Ground That Grows Songs

(p.34) Chapter 2 The Ground That Grows Songs
Everyday Creativity
Kirin Narayan
University of Chicago Press

This chapter looks more closely at Kangra as a distinctive cultural region and offers an overview on songs. As a way to introduce ideal life stages and associated fears of what might go wrong, the author presents three genres that have most preoccupied her through the years. The first is Pahari songs, or “old women's songs” that encompass songs about women's experience in the historical past and songs retelling stories from the Sanskrit Puranas, the “old books” that are compendiums of Hindu mythology. The second is “Suhāg”, which refers to the auspicious happiness of a married woman. Songs of this genre are especially chorused around a bride at weddings, including the weddings of goddesses. The third is pakhaṛu or “songs that are long and tell a story,” “songs about suffering,” and even “our life stories”.

Keywords:   Kangra, India, women's songs, cultural region, Pahari songs, Suhāg, pakharu

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