Shintu dance revived in Himachal

June 18th, 2008 - 6:48 pm ICT by ANI  

By Hemant Chauhan

Sirmour (Himachal Pradesh), June 18 (ANI): The century old traditional tribal animal dance of Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh is being revived by the local artists in the region.

Shintu dance is a tribal dance with a theme of wildlife and environmental protection. The dance is being rejuvenated by the youth of the region with the help of elderly artists.

Jagdish Hbbi a young man working to promote this dance under Chudshewar Club said, We did a research on our traditional dance with a theme of environmental and wild life protection. This is believed to be over a five hundred year old tradition of our region to protect the wildlife. Shintu signifies from the cub or small lion.

We did research in different temples where we have the masks of animals present. After this research we made dress for this dance by wearing animal masks we are trying to justify the song sung in tradition which sounds to preserve the wildlife and trees in the forest, Jagdish added.

All those who have come to witness the performances are quite mesmerized by its enthralling presentation.

The artists of Sirmour district are trying to preserve their dying century old art and are aggressively working towards spreading the message of afforestation and wild life protection.

This certainly gives the message of afforestation. Some of our friends hunt down wild animals and sell off their skin. These species are becoming extinct. So the message here is that we should care for the wild animals. Like the lyrics of our song suggests that animals add to the beauty of the forest. There is pleasure in seeing them and we have to protect them. This is how the lyrics of the song project the message, said Jagdish, a local Shintu dance artist.

Elderly people motivating the artists here are very happy that they are getting a good response for this traditional dance.

The youth are associated with us. The ones associated with us will realise that all this is our property. We have to protect it, to protect the world. Also they are happy to be employed here. The government is also helping us. I am thankful to Doordarshan Shimla. We first got a programme from them. Only after that the others came. We have got a lot of profit from it, said Jash Ram Thakur an elderly artist.
This 500-year-old dance of the tribal people of Sirmour District is an attempt to regenerate the venerable tradition of the state. (ANI)

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