Together We Sing: Feminist Consciousness in Haroti Folklores

Posted on 22. Jan, 2009 by in Feminist ethics

Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi asked:

Poetry and metaphors are everywhere. Even in folklores and myths of which origin is not dated because they find their place in spoken form and they passed orally from one generation to another. Folklores are natural songs that represent human life without poetic ostentation. Haroti folklores are similar to any other folklores (found in the world) in a manner that they also represent Haroti life and culture in their forms.

 

Haroti is a Rajasthani language. This language is named after its region. The Haroti region is situated in western Rajasthan in north-west India. When we talk about feminist consciousness in Haroti folklores we deal with voices of women which come out through the medium of folklores. Far away from the philosophy of  and Cixous, Kristeva, and the complex infantile philosophy of Arundhati Rai (where the twins unconsciously put one realistic question that fortunately realized by Rai’s conscious effort whether twins can have sex with each other. Haroti folklores try to raise more traditional grass-rooted voice of women that  not only sounds sensuous but also free from the borrowed- globalize obscenity of the essentialists where they forward their biological question like “How can vagina be vulgar?” (Vagina Monologues- Mahabooba) or “Life is always being sexed” or “Woman touches herself………her sex is composed of two lips” (The sex which is not one-Irigaray). This obscenity may be a form of reality to understand feminist consciousness but the Haroti folklores raise more fundamental question of life, death, living condition, marriage, pregnancy, child birth etc.

 

In these folklores we find two types of folkloric female representation. One represents her positive side and the second represents her negative side. The positive side shows female as a subtle home-maker, a good wife, a wife equals to goddess Laxmi(goddess of prosperity), and a perfect beloved; and on the other hand she is represented as a coarse lady, cynic, a bad tempered wife, and an unfaithful beloved but interestingly though these natural forms of representation are sung by women. She praises herself and her feminine side or she complaint about her other self that is; the male who is rather other than the previous one but not divisible from her consciousness (the prevalent concept in Hindu mythology that presents male and female as an embodiment of the same body).

 

She sings her folklores because she knows that this is the way to express her suppressed condition. And her voice not only comes out for the suppression but it also represents other modes like mother’s longing for her newly married daughter, a mother’s happiness for her newly born baby, mother mourns for her child’s death, or some beloved is waiting for her over etc. So there is a universal form in all these women traits. That’s why it is quite incongruous to say that Haroti women have developed a medium of their significations out of their consciousness because language is natural as any other scientific law and theory. They reject the sex markers that is to say their biological organs which discriminates them with men and put directly their problem. As in folklores, she says that her husband’s desire for son is not logical when her husband says dear give birth to a male child who will give glory to our family and I will praise you in front of everyone.

 

Tha ne dagaji pir khday

Jo ghar jnmi ji davadi ji

Dadaji ko vsa badaya

Badhat sundar mhe kara ji

Tha ne sutha ka ladu badhaya

 

This song is song by the mother-in-law and the other elderly women of the house. Here, the main problem with her conscious effort to put her voice through folklore is that she thinks that the medium through which she comes forward; she controls the patriarchal thinking. But her language is fabricated around the other women who are facing the same problem as once she had faced. Her daughter-in-law is still in the same problem as once she was.

 

In a folk lore the friends of a girl, who is going to get married, sing on her behalf. The song goes like this – brother, leave my doli (a place where bride sits) and leave to your place. You have bread for servants, cousins and other people only I am the burden.

 

Chado bhaiya mari dolki

Thare ghar bhavaja, bhai vira

Ma saru suno ghar ki khunali

Chado bhaiya mhari dolki

 

The bride’s friends are singing on her behalf again lost the main track. The subject (bride) is ignorant and uncomprehending language’s capacity to generate, and to procreate symbols. That’s why instead of giving the straight message folklore is driving the main subject out from the sphere. It is a postponement of the sign from one place to another. That indicates signified is missing in the signification of semi logical system and through which a ritual happens.

 

 

To fill the gap, and to prove that folkloric message has a force in it, it’s outcome should be challenged as universal system but men treat these folklores simply as universal law and react neutrally. As I have mentioned earlier that the missing part cannot be a sexiest language, but the return of the postponing subject (either bride, beloved, mother, wife, or daughter) for whom the other women- the supplement conveys her original voice. This conveys a two fold resolution in the process of liberated feminist thinking, first-the original voice should express her voice directly from the folkloric representation, and secondly the other should come as a supplement rather than as a substitution that postpones the original subjectivity. 

REFERENCES

 

(a) Pollock, G (2006) Women as sigh Vision and Difference, New York: Rout ledge.

 

 (b) Irigaray, L (2005) ‘Love of the other’ An Ethics of Sexual difference,      New York & London: Continuum.

 

 (c) Kakkar, S (2003) ‘The Maternal Feminine in Indian Psychoanalysis       (1989)    Culture and Psyche New Delhi Oxford University Press.

    

 (d) Bhatt, C (1966) Haroti Lokgit, Ajmer: Krishna Brothers.

 

(e) Shambhunath (2000) Ashalilta, Sauaraya Aur Sanskrit in Rajkishore(Ed) Ashalilta Ka Hamala. New Delhi: Venna Prakashan.

 

 

 

 

 

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