Folk musicians decry ‘westernisation’ of music in South Asia

November 2nd, 2008 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Nov 2 (IANS) Folk musicians of India and Bangladesh have decried westernisation of music in the two countries and the rest of South Asia and said that it was at the cost of the rich musical heritage of the region.Bangladesh’s Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, who is a performer and researcher of Bhawaiyya folk music of Bengal, joined India’s West Bengal-based Shukh Bilas Borma to decry this trend and to give a call to artistes to return to their roots.

“Time will soon come when we will be eager go back to our roots, since real pleasure lies in our heritage and tradition,” Borma was quoted as saying by The Daily Star Sunday.

“Bhawaiyya is part of our heritage. It’s a genre that has been sung in the region from time immemorial,” he said.

“Bhawaiyya reached its excellence in the melody of late Abbasuddin. He could successfully inspire people in Bhawaiyya.” The songs express the hopes and frustrations of young hearts and also uphold the life and culture of the region.

Dhaka Saturday hosted a musical soiree to commemorate the 107th birth anniversary of legendary folk singer Abbasuddin Ahmed.

Borma said: “All emotions - love, sorrow, sufferings, and happiness are replete in it. Its appeal to the audience is all encompassing. This is why Bengali speaking people, mainly of greater Rangpur in Bangladesh and Cooch Behar in India, sing and enjoy this particular genre.”

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