Folk Songs of Rajouri District
Folk songs such as Dhindi, Kenchi, Cuckoo, Sopahiya, Mehndi, Baisakh, Dholan, Chann, Laari, and Bar-Shams are renowned amongst the people. Gujjars are one of the most important segments of the population of the district. The main ballads of the region are Noora and Taago. Noora was a Gujjar Chief of Gursai who was ditched by his own servant and brutally killed by his opponents. His life history is explained in the folk song Noora. Likewise ballad Taajo is a well-known number in which bravery of Taajo has been woven beautifully. Dhindi was a beautiful charming girl who falls in love with the hero of the tale Nathiya Deedarh. This song is in romantic from and talks about her immortal love. Baisakh is the folk song of summer when the people migrate to Dhoks with their livestock. The beauty of the nature, flora and fauna of the area, lush green meadows oozing and gushing springs are beautifully described in the song.
Cuckoo is a symbolic song in which the bird Cuckoo is used as a symbol. This song is very famous amongst the women folk as it is a song of separation and remembrance. Sopahiya is a song in the praise of a lover who has gone to fight war. Chann and Dholan are pahari romantic songs and are full of praise of beloved, who is compared with, Chann, (Moon). Dholan word is also used for lover. Every line of the song ends with the word, Dholan. Natt is devotional song sung in Ziarat for praise of Prophet Hazarat Mohammad. Kashmiri folk song Chakri and Rouf is also sung in the region due to Kashmiri population.
Folk Dances of Rajouri District
Dances express the innermost joy and happiness of a man. These are the real pictures of the life of the people and their folk culture. Dances are always connected with some fairs, festivals or worship of God or Goddess. District Rajouri touches the border of Poonch, Jammu and Udhampur, So that the main dances of Rajouri are Dogri Bhangra, Gogri Dance, Letri Naach, Chowki Naach, Jattar, Jagarana, Keekli and Roff etc. These dances are performed on the fairs and festivals; every action depicts the harvesting process.
Gujjri Naach is a form of dance which is very famous with the Gujjar community. Performance of the dance is arranged on the marriage ceremony of a boy. This folk dance is very simple but charming. Male dances in their traditional costumes form a line with sticks in their hands and on the other side female dances change formations on the rhythm of Dhol. Letri dance is performed while cutting the grass hence known as labour dance. Chowki Naach is similar to that of Dogri folk dance, Fummaniyan. People from all communities perform this dance jointly, which shows a nice picture of communal harmony and natural integration. This dance is purely a religious dance in the honour of the Gram-Devta or Kul-Devta. The Bindloo and the Jagarna are the dances set to the theme of marriage and martial relationships.
Keekli is a simple but entertaining dance. No instrument is used. The girls perform this dance. The main instruments played with these folk songs and folk dances are algoza, Dokra, Sarnai, Glass, Thumbak Nari, Sargi, bansuri or flute, Dholak and Dhol etc. Rouf dance is performed by women on the occasion of Id. Popular songs are Chhakri and Hafiz Naghma. The most popular instrument of Kashmiri action song is Tumbak Nari.
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