GUWAHATI, Feb 12: “The Northeast is a treasure trove of unparallel and unique oral culture. One of the chief characteristics of this region is its rich oral culture and most of the communities in this region are predomintly oral in their social transactions,” said Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi while iugurating a seven-day tiol workshop on “Documenting Oral Cultural Traditions of Northeast India” at tiol Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj at Jawahar gar in Khapara on Monday.
Mukhi lays stress on NE oral culture
Sharing his thoughts on the theme of the workshop the Governor said, “The north-eastern region of India embraces great demographic diversities since time immemorial which form a crucial link between the two great civilizations of India and Chi. It is a microcosm of India in terms of sheer diversity. It is a meeting point of different racial and linguistic groups. The hills are predomintly inhabited by the Tibeto-Burman speakers baring the larger part of Meghalaya which is Austro-Asiatic in speech practice. The Brahmaputra and Surma Valley is predomintly Indo-Aryan in speech practices.” One of the chief characteristics of this region is its richness in oral culture. Several communities of the region are predomintly oral in their social transactions. Even in the valley areas, where literacy made inroads due to state formation, literary pursuits were only concentrated around the royal court as usual. Large sections of the people remained oral in their cultural transactions as well. This predomint mode of social transaction is the root for the birth of various traditions in forms of myths, legends, ballads, riddles, folklore etc. These traditions were circulated from mouth to mouth and generations to generations before some of them got textualized. Governor Prof.Mukhi also stressed the importance of documenting these traditions as they constitute vast pool of cultural knowledge of these communities. Besides, they also contain social memory in different shades as they form a part of mnemonic traditions of these societies. Their study and interpretations may reveal many unknown events of the pasts related to these communities. It is in this context this workshop on Documenting Oral Cultural Traditions of North East India assumed great importance, adding the Governor said, “I wish the participants would be immensely benefitted from this workshop in furthering their research on the societies of this region”.