Jakari | Life Songs of Haryanvi Women

An Ethnographic Film about Jakari, a genre of folk songs in Haryana, India.

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“Jakari is a significant genre of folk songs in Haryana, India. Jakari folk songs are sung by Haryanvi women in a routine manner. Unlike ritual songs and seasonal songs, they are songs about mundane life; the most authentic expressions of a Haryanvi woman’s tryst with life as a young woman. Jakari folk songs cover the phases in the life of a young woman from puberty to motherhood. During this phase women in Haryana undergo drastic life changes and upheavals. They get married and depart to their conjugal home, leaving their mothers and natal kin behind for ever. In the conjugal home they have to establish themselves as a part of the new family. Different shades of these experiences take musical shape in the Jakari folk songs.

Jakari also encompasses many sub genres: songs about conjugal kin, songs about natal kin, songs about love, songs of humour, and songs of self-reflection. 

The material in this documentary was collected by Dr. Devender Kumar (Asst. Professor in English, B.H.U) during fieldwork in Ghirai, Juglan, Jalalpur and Shahpur villages in Haryana since 2012. It was created as an attempt to document, preserve as well as popularise intangible folk culture. The project was made possible by Espírito Kashi, an avant-garde media project based in Varanasi, safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of India through the medium of ethnographic films.

Directed (and submitted to the Archive Collective) by visual ethnographer/filmmaker Rajat Nayyar.

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Jakari | Life Songs of Haryanvi Women was screened at The Centre for Women’s Studies and Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, Banaras Hindu University on 18th March 2015.”

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