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Everyday CreativitySinging Goddesses in the Himalayan Foothills$
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Kirin Narayan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226407425

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226407739.001.0001

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Going: Saili as Plant and Goddess

Going: Saili as Plant and Goddess

(p.147) Chapter 5 Going: Saili as Plant and Goddess
Everyday Creativity

Kirin Narayan

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the metaphor of “going” and how songs provide a means for rising beyond the immediacies of daily responsibilities and the impasses posed by difficult situations. Offering a medium for safe personal expression while also evoking larger communities of pain, songs are perceived as a way of going from one emotional state to another. Through singing, individuals lift themselves up and out of tedious tasks, distressed moods, and confined circumstances. The chapter is organized around oral traditions associated with Saili, the sacred basil goddess, whose worship promises travel to heaven. It also draws on the songs of Janaki-devi that associate women with plants: withering in harsh circumstances, roaming in gardens when sad, and blossoming with happiness like bright orange marigolds.

Keywords:   Janaki-devi, women's songs, going, singing, oral traditions, Saili, basil goddess

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