Kalyani University explores North Bengal’s rich tribal heritage through field study and workshop

Kalyani University explores North Bengal’s rich tribal heritage through field study and workshop

Biswabrata Goswami

KRISHNAGAR, 2 JULY: The Department of Folklore at Kalyani University recently conducted an extensive field study and workshop on folklore, tribal lore, and their social impacts in the Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, and Cooch Behar districts. The event, held from 27 June to 2 July, brought together students, researchers, and faculty members to immerse themselves in the diverse tribal cultures of North Bengal.

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The week-long workshop was inaugurated online by Prof. Amlendu Bhuiyan, Vice-Chancellor of Kalyani University. Prof. Bhuiyan expressed optimism about the insights and information this fieldwork would generate, providing an overview of various fieldwork methodologies. He highlighted the importance of such immersive experiences in enhancing the knowledge and perspectives of students and researchers in the Folklore Department.

The field study focused on the indigenous cultures of prominent tribal communities, including the Toto, Asur, Garo, Orao, Rabha, Mech, Dukpa, and Tamang tribes. Participants gathered valuable data on the socio-cultural and economic aspects of these communities, enriching their understanding of the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Key contributors to the workshop included Prof. Asimananda Gangopadhyay, Head of the Folklore Department; Dr. Debalina Debnath; and Dr. Joytirmoy Roy from the Bengali Department of Birpara College, Alipurduar District. Dr. Roy played a crucial role in guiding students and researchers in selecting field survey areas and identifying key individuals from the tribal communities.

Prof. Sujay Kumar Mandal, who supervised the survey, emphasized the importance of fieldwork in understanding folklore practices. He noted that Alipurduar was chosen this year due to its rich and diverse folk and tribal lore. Field study camps were established in Madarihat and Alipurduar city, covering areas from Madarihat to North Khyerbari Forest villages and Totopara. Additionally, the socio-economic and cultural conditions of the Shital Pati artisan community in the Ghughumari region of Cooch Behar were studied. The collected data will be published in a book, further contributing to the academic field.

Local researcher Mr. Pramod Nath shared his experiences and insights into the lives of various North Bengal tribes during a private interview with students. He praised the Kalyani Folklore Department for its significant role in folklore-based research studies.

Participants expressed their delight at being part of this hands-on fieldwork and workshop. They reported that the direct experience significantly enriched their knowledge of folk and indigenous cultures.

The Folklore Department of Kalyani University continues to demonstrate its commitment to academic excellence through various activities throughout the year, reinforcing its position in higher education both nationally and internationally.

Tags: #KalyaniUniversity #FolkloreDepartment #FieldStudy #NorthBengal

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