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Heritage brew, age-old songs, folk decor bring tribal traditions alive in Udaipur

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By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, June 12 (Ajit Weekly News) A unique engagement ceremony solemnised in Udaipur has become the hot topic of discussion amongst the whos who of the state for its different but attractive features.

There was no loud music or DJ but the local tribals were invited to sing and dance; the foreign made liquor was replaced by heritage liquor which was stored in earthen pots and served from a ‘Machan’ built on top of the bars where local women sang folk songs.

There were no lavish sofa sets but handmade ‘khats’ and ‘Mudde’ were scattered all over for the guests to sit.

The centuries old tribal traditions came alive as the tables kept in front of the khats were covered with jute textiles. There were lanterns illuminating the venue.

The ceremony was attended by the cream of society and guests from across the world.

Sidi Goma tribals who are believed to have come from Africa and settled in Gujarat were invited to perform the Dhamal folk dance. Another group was brought from the Gujarat jungles who performed the Rathwa dance.

A group was also called from Udaipur who performed the Gawri dance. “These people stop taking non veg food and drinks before performing this dance to worship Lord Shiva and Gauri.”

Nathulal Solanki, a Nagada player who came from London to attend the ceremony, was in awe of the beauty of the program which was organised with the traditional rituals of erstwhile royalty.

Those serving food and drinks were asked to wear tribal costumes.

Like the Olympics and the Asian Games, a flag march was organised here where the flag of the erstwhile royal family was held high by the leaders of four different groups invited here to perform. A background speech introduced the audience to their life, lifestyle and features. This march apprised the audience of the tribals’ history and lifestyle for the first time.

The ceremony was solemnised taking a cue from the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who asked one and all to participate in saving the cultural heritage (virasat ka sanrakshan under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav), said Rajendra Pachar, an ex-royal from Pushkar whose son was getting engaged to a Jodhpur based girl.

“We invited tribals to perform as we needed to bring them into the mainstream. These tribals have a big contribution to Indian history. They helped Shivaji and Maharana Pratap to win wars against the Mughals. In fact, today, our civilization has been protected due to them. They helped Maharana Pratap to capture Mewar and the Mughals did not dare to attack again. They are still living the same life following age-old principles, they preserve their jungles, traditions and heritage and hence we owe a lot to them. If we start inviting them to our programmes, we will get a cultural boost and they will get into the mainstream. Till date, they have been ignored,” he added.

Ranveer Singh, a veteran from the travel trade who attended the function told Ajit Weekly News, “It was the first ceremony I have ever attended where people were seen enjoying tribal dance without missing the DJ part. Also, there was a long queue in front of the machan serving heritage liquor from earthen pots. In fact, those who tasted this heritage liquor were seen discussing ‘If Feni is promoted in Goa as a local drink, why is Rajasthan lagging behind in promoting this unique drink which is made of spices, herbs and roots. Also, there is a strong need to promote artisans in all our programmes. They will get a strong financial standing post the pandemic and we will have more tourists coming in and the wedding tourism segment will get stronger,” he added.

–Ajit Weekly News

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