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The Modern Tribe: a tale of growing big by embracing native tradition and culture

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Just a writer playing with your ideas with my wild perspectives.

Evolution of mankind is advancing so rapidly that many elements and roots of its initial stages are left forgotten. One of them is the community of the tribe. Tribes are communitiesembracing their own set of traditions and cultures. They form the frontline in protecting the mother nature as well as the animal kingdom. India, the land of various cultures, customs, languages and practices holds more than 700 groups of tribe spread across all the states and the union territories. Each of these groups has its own cuisines, languages, dance forms, style of dressing etc. Some of the groups don't have their language script yet used.

These groups have their own boundaries of livelihood across the forests or the habitat suitable to them and have their respective communities providing access to all the facilities from the food they eat, schools, hospitals, from hunting on their own to selling commodities for livelihood. Since the tribe and thetribals are enveloped within themselves it’s a huge struggle for them to compete in the world outside their own shell. Due to the rat race in this current tech world, these people find it difficult to adapt to the new techniques and to excel in them despite having the potential. Despite all the hurdles, one of the tribal communities has been trying its way harder to make their voice heard to the people outside their reach so that their identity does not vanish and ensure that these groups do not dissolve in the rest of the history.

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The Santhal Tribe

The tribe of Santhal or Santal of Jharkhand state in India are largely found in Jharkhand in terms of population and also in the states of Assam, Bihar, Tripura and West Bengal. Both Santhal men and women started making their own arts including painting, pottery, weaving etc., with a style representing their culture and using minimal of materials found in nature which is continued till now.

35 years ago, it all began with a trade where women promised elegant embroidery works in return for the money. Ever since then embroidery has become an official job for them and has become a renowned pattern across the country. This embroidery work was called Kantha. Hence this gave a particular identity and importance to them.

Unlike modern people, this tribe knew it very well as how to turn the best out of waste and to keep it simple. Even the hay left out from the paddy is used convincingly. Not only the arts and culture, but this aesthetic group also stands as the first tribal community to have their official radio channel in their own language called Santhali.

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The Santhal Tribe Radio

The basic idea of this radio channel is to spread awareness about the tribes of India, especially Santhal tribes. The basic principle of this idea is to put an impact on, of tribes upon the coming age and to inspire many other voices left unheard. This radio channel came through with the help of radio Milan, which is a station in West Bengal.

It was just another feather added to their cap of excellence. Shikha Mandi becomes the first-ever radio jockey of this radio channel running a weekly show called Johar Jhargram in fluent Santhali with her mesmerizing voice and talent, grasping the attention of her listeners for her voice to be heard in the public domain.

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Shikha Mandi: Nightingale of The Santhal Tribe

Shikha proudly takes the privilege of representing on behalf of her entire community. Though she is the torchbearer of this seat, it was not at all an easy task for her without proper training and facilities. She started to learn all by herself and later found a team which she attracted with all her skills effortlessly. Shikha writes scripts on her own, makes tunes, and also organizes new programs.

Her panel never fails to stand there as her pillar of support no matter what and her parents also supported her through thick and thin. She also stood so stubborn and never backed off to express the problems and issues faced by her people. Shikha stood tall and became a role model for many girls and women out there and set her bars high. She became the ultimate example of sheer hard work and passion. She proved that nothing is impossible with a strong will and determination to achieve. Her story will be a great tale for many people and the communities to bring out their ideas and to make their voices heard. This opportunity has given her life a beautiful outcome and she also plans to welcome new talents and introduce them through her shows.

No matter how incredibly the world evolves, every individual community must be encouraged and helped through their way to express our support and for them to exist in the upcoming generations. In the end, Shikha says, “The fact that I’m doing what I love, for the people I love, in the place I love the most is my biggest success. I’m not looking back”.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Krishna