Monday, August 27, 2012

Vulgarity an old culture - who’s responsible.

@courtesy - Dr. Kirk Meighoo - former lecturer in the Department of Behavioural Sciences at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies and current leader of the Democratic National Assembly (DNA).

In Trinidad and Tobago (and throughout the West Indies), we sing Bhojpuri songs, but we call them by different names. Here, we call it "chutney", in Jamaica, they call it "yard songs".It is very popular, and people on this list based in Toronto, New York, or Miami (and to a much lesser extent London) may know that the Indian-West Indians (from Trinidad and Guyana, in particular) have created a very popular touring circuit with Chutney performers (Anand Yankaran, Adesh Samaroo, Dil-e-Nadaan Orchestra, Terry Gajraj, Sundar Popo, Sonny Mann) travelling all over the islands and regularly to these cities in the US and Canada, singing Bhojpuri songs, essentially. Some traditional ones and many that they have composed themselves. Many CDs are made here in Trinidad, and we have six radio stations solely dedicated to Indian programming, and chutney music is very big. In Mauritius, also where Bhojpurias went to as girmitias, they sing Bhojpuri songs. My wife is from there, and I took across some Trinidad Chutney music CDs. Mauritians there liked it very much, because it was basically the same music, except we have modernised it somewhat with amplified and electrified instruments and studio production.

What I am interested in is what you refer to as the supposed "vulgarity" of Bhojpuri music. Academics here have said that the chutney music we sing comes from the songs performed for the Matikoor part of the wedding ceremony, and this accounts for the "vulgar" nature of the songs.

But these were supposed to be performed by women, for women only to hear.I am not sure if that is the case. Chutney music has become vulgar here because of the vulgarity of the African-derived music were have here as well. I would like to know how "vulgar" Bhojpuri music is in the Bhojpur region, but I have never had the chance to hear it. (Furthermore, I do not understand Bhojpuri well.)  I certainly would be interested if any of you have heard chutney music from Trinidad and Guyana, and I would like to know your honest opinion about its similarities and differences with Bhojpuri music from UP / Bihar. As I said, it has taken off here in a really big way, and developed a whole style and industry, without knowing much about its origins at all.

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