SAC holds National Seminar on  ‘Folk Culture: Local Traditions and Global Challenges’

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St Aloysius College, Mangaluru holds a National seminar on ‘ Folk Culture: Local Traditions and Global Changes’

Mangaluru: The Department of English of our College in association with the UGC STRIDE Scheme, hosted a National Seminar on “Folk Culture: Local Traditions and Global Challenges” on the 26th of November 2022 in Robert Sequeira Hall of LCRI Block. Dr Vincent Alva, Associate Professor and Principal, Milagres College, Kallianpur was the Chief Guest for the above programme. Rev. Dr Praveen Martis, SJ, Principal presided over the programme. Dr Alwyn D’Sa, Registrar & Controller of Examinations, SAC, Ms Severine Pinto, Organising Secretary, and Dr Charles V Furtado, Associate Professor and Director, Admin Block were present on the dais.

Briefing on the concept, Dr Alwyn D’Sa, the Registrar of SAC said, ” Every society expresses itself through its folklore, which is often called ‘mother wit’. The beliefs, fantasies, hopes, and anxieties of a community are distilled through myths, archetypes, proverbs, riddles, lullabies, games, wedding songs, folktales and other manifestations of that group. Rites of passage often take the form of fertility cults, harvest celebrations, dances, and more. Folk culture has material, religious, cultural, and ideological components that find expression in the objects used by a group as a way of life, as rituals, impersonation of deities, as taboos, totems, and are also indicative of social control”.

” The intense interest evoked in this area in the nineteenth century is seen in Folkloristic Studies, Anthropology, and Ethnographic Studies that endeavoured to study the ’primitive’ mind. However, in a Poststructuralist context, Folk-Culture is also appropriated by Semiotics and Literature, since every act can be read as a ‘text’ in a dense field of multiple significations. It gives ample scope for scrutiny and analyses under Structuralism, Feminism, Gender Studies, Psychoanalysis, and other disciplines. Apart from the symbolic level at which folk culture is seen it has been studied for underlying structures as if there were a grammar to it, and also for variants, inversions, and analogous practices” added Dr D’Sa,

He further said, “The very term ‘Folk’ and therefore the practices attached to it are problematic. Who for instance is ‘folk’? Alan Dundes reassures us that any group of people that share some common interests can comprise ‘folk’. This then immediately brings even contemporary groups for instance those at the workplace, and within families under the purview of folk. In that sense, even the jokes that are intrinsic to that group become a part of folk culture. Is ‘Folk’ restricted to rural societies in the past? How can we understand the overlapping of the ‘great’ and the ‘little’ traditions in our culture – what G.N. Devy calls the Marga and the Desi? Is the absorption of the low-caste practices into those of dominant groups co-option, and appropriation that is becoming more pervasive? Does folk culture regulate societies through beliefs, institutions, and rituals, or does it provide an escape from a hierarchical and repressive social order?

While conclusion Dr contemporary times can serve as a collective rebuke or as a social reprimand that reins in individualistic trends that violate social norms. The rich, complex, and plural folk traditions of Dakshina Kannada have already been mapped by scholars from the West as well as from our region. Practices like Tulu Paddanas, Kambala, Aati-Karanja, GSB rituals associated with their ‘Peter’, Konkani Voviyos, Beary Patts, local games, and much more are symbolic of this diversity, and along with other wyn said, “micro-practices are ever open for deeper understanding. Even at the risk of being an interloper that freezes and codifies a rich and complex folk culture, the discipline of Literature has made a foray into this domain too. The current seminar hopes to give us food for thought regarding the poetics and the politics of folk culture”.

Dr Vincent Alva spoke on the Folk Culture of Dakshina Kannada in his Keynote Address and its present relevance. He said that folklore or folk art is attached to the people who have no food, no house or do not have any kind of amenities. They started singing folk songs or padding by working in the fields or doing things using the materials from the forest. He narrated his childhood experience of his familiarity with a folk performer, a blind by birth who inspired him. He declaimed some folk pieces of oral literature.

Rev. Dr Praveen Martis in his presidential remarks said that study of folk cultures is very crucial in the present times. Folk literature keeps us rooted in our culture. During the programme, there were 3 sessions on Konkani, Tulu and Beary Folklore. Rev. Dr Melwyn S. Pinto, SJ, Director of AIMIT, Radio Sarang and Institute of Konkani, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), enlightened on Konkani Folklore with special reference to Kudmis and GSBs. Dr Thukaram Poojary, President, Rani Abbakka Tulu Adhyayana Kendra, Bantwal and Dr Ashalatha Suvarna, Associate Professor and HOD of Commerce, Sri Gokarnanatheshwara College, Mangalore were the resource persons for the Tulu Folklore and gave the insights on it. Dr Abubakkar Siddiq, Associate Professor, Department of Commerce, University College, Mangalore Coordinator for Beary Adhyayana Peeta, Mangalore University, was Beary Folk Culture’s resource person.

Dr Charles V Furtado welcomed the gathering and introduced the Chief Guest. Clive compered the programme. Ms Severine Pinto proposed the vote of thanks.

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