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Culture of Tradition of Uttarakhand : Uttarakhand Swar Sangam

By Mahendra Singh Gailakoti,
Organising Secretary,
Uttarakhand Swar Sangam,
B-146, Shivani Vihar, Kalyanpur, Lucknow – 226022
Uttar Pradesh, India
Email: mahendra_lko@yahoo.com
Mobile: 09235793918

I am introducing myself as the Organising Secretary of USS. Uttarakhand Swar Sangam, Lucknow, India is a cultural society registered in 1999 under societies registration act of 1860, upholding the cultural heritage of Uttarakhand and performing Kumaoni and Garhwali Folk Arts for last several years.

Uttarakhand is one of the most beautiful and enchanting region located on the northern part of India on the valley of Himalayas. The State, which was curved out of Uttar Pradesh got the statehood in the year 2001. Nature has endowed this land with so much beauty and spiritual bliss that it is also known as Dev Bhoomi the Land of Gods. Ganga, Yamuna and scores of other rivers originate in Uttarakhand. Among them Ganga is the most holy and prominent as she represents the soul of India - her rich culture, history and civilization. In Sanskrit the name 'Himalaya' means Abode of Snow, truly characterizing the vast permanent snow fields above the snow line. In the heart of these majestic mountains lies the state of 'Uttarakhand' with Kumaon region in its east and Garhwal in the west.

Culture of Uttarakhand
The Culture of Uttarakhand has its roots in pre-history and has passed through the millennia, assimilating the influences of the waves upon waves of settlers that have sought sanctuary in the mountains. The essence of the past, however, has remained unchanged, with reverence for Nature and the celebration of life being its fundamental creed. The arts, crafts, dance and music remain centered to this day on the many gods and goddesses, as well as the seasonal cycles. Irrespective of the sect or religion, the entire community participates in the festivals associated with religious or natural events. Of late, other events associated with history, the freedom struggle and national life have also begun to be celebrated. The Culture of Uttarakhand finds manifestation in the lifestyle of its people.

Music and Dance
The Himalayas have inspired generations of singers, dancers, and musicians throughout the ages. The natural beauty of the mountains—which inspires a deep spirituality—and the harshness of life—which darkens the heart with adversity and anguish—have invigorated Uttarakhandi music, heightening its poignancy and enriching its lyrical texture. The Grahwal and Kumaonese are fond of music, folk dance, and songs accompanied by local musical instruments. They go from place to place narrating folklores, dancing and singing the praise of their gods and goddesses. During fairs and festivals and at harvest time, the Kumaonese often dance the Jharva, Chandhur Chhapalior, and many other forms of folk dances. Major dance forms of the Garhwal region are Langvir Nritya, Barada Nati folk dance, Pandava Nritya, Dhurang, Dhuring and Chhura, Chapeli (folk dances).

Uttarakhand Swar-Sangam
"Uttarakhand Swar-Sangam" is a cultural forum. All the active participants/ members of the society belong to Uttranchal that too mostly from Kumaon Region. We have been organising famous folk arts, Chhura, Chapeli & other cultural dances for last 4 years in Lucknow, in different parts of UP and in other states.

Chhura dance is very popular among the people and is in a way of an old experienced man teaching a young Shepherd the tricks of his trade. Both men and women participate in this dance.

It is a very famous and fast dance of Kumaun. The theme of the dance is love and it is very romantic. Both men and women participate in this dance and the costume is very colourful.
Our programmes have also been able to draw elite audiances like Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Mr. N.D. Tiwari, Mr. Dhan Raj Yadav (Minister of Food, U.P.), Mr. Lalji Tandan (Urban Dev.Minister, UP) etc.. We have also performed a number of shows in Doordarshan, UP.

Our Request
Now we are on the process working out a plan to arrange performance of these dances in different countries/states like yours to uphold the culture of Uttarakhand by way of exchanging the culture and contributing towards integration and cooperation among different countries through cultural exchange. I am writing this letter to inquire the possibility of arranging and getting financial support from your organisation to meet the expenses of such programmes. Hope you will consider our request favourably. In case you need any further information, we are happy to provide the same.