Tharu leaders here have started expressing concern that the younger generation is forgetting the importance of jhumda dancing. Jhumda is an ancient dance of the Tharu community. This dance has a very important role in establishing the ethnic identity of that community.
Mahadev Tharu, a cultural worker in Wanganga-5 Kopwa and advisor to Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha Kapilvastu, says that their ancestors danced Jhumda to relieve the fatigue of working in the fields all day. He has found that jhumda dance can help you forget about your work fatigue.
Jhumda dance of the Tharu community
Recently, the influence of modernity is increasing in the Thalkru community, known as the indigenous people of Terai Madhes. Old cultures are disappearing. Nowadays, it is necessary to introduce the current culture of this community to the new generation by organizing fairs and festivals.
According to him, distortions and disharmony in society are removed through Jhumda songs and dances. “Since the current generation does not understand the importance of jhumda dance, there is a danger of the culture disappearing,” he says. “It is not time for Tharu cultures to become history.” Tharu leaders say that this dance is especially performed from Dussehra to Maghi.
The Tharu leader says that Jhumda Nach is danced by a maximum of 15 men and women. The song sung in this dance is also original. Jhumda is sung individually and in groups. The original instrument, Manhara (like madal), is played in the song. In Jhumda dancing, traditional costumes of the Tharu community are used. Men wear dhoti, feta, askat, and bahkatti, while women wear lehna, lehanga, angia, and pharia.
Shivprasad Tharu, a Tharu leader of Kopwa who used to shame the younger generation into dancing the jhumda dance, said He says that since it is an original dance, the dance, singing, and costumes are old, but the present generation is ashamed to dance, sing, and wear costumes. Modernity is also seen in clothing, he added, and “the new generation does not try to learn it.” He said that there are 35 types of rhythm in Jhumda dancing. But all the lakes are disappearing. He said that now two rhythms are used for dancing.
Tharu leaders of the older generation have launched a campaign to preserve Jhumda dancing in some places. The Tharu community is concentrated in Shivpur, Barkulpur, Champapur, Duvian, Hathousa, Patna, Kopwa, and other areas of Kapilvastu. For the last few years, the Maghi festival has been celebrated on the occasion of Maghe Sankranti. The historical art and culture of the Tharu community can be seen at the Maghi Khichdi Festival, organized with the aim of saving the Tharu language, art, and culture.
Janjir Prasad Tharu, the former president of Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha Kapilvastu, said that the fairs and festivals organized by the Tharu community are also observed with great interest by other communities. His argument is that the Tharu community’s arts and culture have recently been disappearing, and that all of them should now be protected together.
The old dances of the Tharu community can be seen at the Maghi Khichadi festival, organized at various places in the district. Dances like Jharra, Lathi, Mayur, Sajni, and Virhani are important dances of the Tharu community.