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Together we sing: Feminist Consciousness in Haroti Folklores

Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi

School of Language, Literature and Social Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-India

This short paper aims at focusing the importance of folklores as a medium

of representation of feminine consciousness in a place named Haroti,

Rajasthan (India).In this progress the paper does not treat folklores as an

individual place specific mode but try to relate it universally. Though

taking the universal criteria of feminine consciousness in the framework;

the paper discusses the local domain of female with respect to folklores.

And try to show how Haroti women use this mode in order to present their


Simultaneously, it raises some objections to Haroti folkloric

representation. Finally I have tried to give suggestions for making this

mode (which I have mentioned universal and natural) more relevant in


Key words: Folklores, Feminine consciousness, Haroti, Local domain etc.

Poetry and metaphors are everywhere. Even in folklores and myths of

which origin is not dated because they find their place in spoken form and

they passed orally from one generation to another. Folklores are natural

songs that represent human life without poetic ostentation. Haroti folklores

are similar to any other folklores (found in the world) in a manner that

they also represent Haroti life and culture in their forms.

Haroti is a Rajasthani language. This language is named after its region.

The Haroti region is situated in western Rajasthan in north-west India.

When we talk about feminist consciousness in Haroti folklores we deal

with voices of women which come out through the medium of folklores.

Far away from the philosophy of and Cixous, Kristeva, and the complex

infantile philosophy of Arundhati Rai (where the twins unconsciously put

one realistic question that fortunately realized by Rai’s conscious effort

whether twins can have sex with each other. Haroti folklores try to raise

more traditional grass-rooted voice of women that not only sounds

sensuous but also free from the borrowed- globalize obscenity of the

essentialists where they forward their biological question like “How can

vagina be vulgar?” (Vagina Monologues- Mahabooba) or “Life is always

being sexed” or “Woman touches herself………her sex is composed of

two lips” (The sex which is not one-Irigaray). This obscenity may be a
form of reality to understand feminist consciousness but the Haroti

folklores raise more fundamental question of life, death, living condition,

marriage, pregnancy, child birth etc.

In these folklores we find two types of folkloric female representation.

One represents her positive side and the second represents her negative

side. The positive side shows female as a subtle home-maker, a good wife,

a wife equals to goddess Laxmi(goddess of prosperity), and a perfect

beloved; and on the other hand she is represented as a coarse lady, cynic, a

bad tempered wife, and an unfaithful beloved but interestingly though

these natural forms of representation are sung by women. She praises

herself and her feminine side or she complaint about her other self that is;

the male who is rather other than the previous one but not divisible from

her consciousness (the prevalent concept in Hindu mythology that presents

male and female as an embodiment of the same body).

She sings her folklores because she knows that this is the way to express

her suppressed condition. And her voice not only comes out for the

suppression but it also represents other modes like mother’s longing for

her newly married daughter, a mother’s happiness for her newly born

baby, mother mourns for her child’s death, or some beloved is waiting for

her over etc. So there is a universal form in all these women traits. That’s
why it is quite incongruous to say that Haroti women have developed a

medium of their significations out of their consciousness because language

is natural as any other scientific law and theory. They reject the sex

markers that is to say their biological organs which discriminates them

with men and put directly their problem. As in folklores, she says that her

husband’s desire for son is not logical when her husband says dear give

birth to a male child who will give glory to our family and I will praise

you in front of everyone.

Tha ne dagaji pir khday

Jo ghar jnmi ji davadi ji

Dadaji ko vsa badaya

Badhat sundar mhe kara ji

Tha ne sutha ka ladu badhaya

This song is song by the mother-in-law and the other elderly women of the

house. Here, the main problem with her conscious effort to put her voice

through folklore is that she thinks that the medium through which she

comes forward; she controls the patriarchal thinking. But her language is

fabricated around the other women who are facing the same problem as

once she had faced. Her daughter-in-law is still in the same problem as

once she was.

In a folk lore the friends of a girl, who is going to get married, sing on her

behalf. The song goes like this – brother, leave my doli (a place where

bride sits) and leave to your place. You have bread for servants, cousins

and other people only I am the burden.

Chado bhaiya mari dolki

Thare ghar bhavaja, bhai vira

Ma saru suno ghar ki khunali

Chado bhaiya mhari dolki

The bride’s friends are singing on her behalf again lost the main track. The

subject (bride) is ignorant and uncomprehending language’s capacity to

generate, and to procreate symbols. That’s why instead of giving the

straight message folklore is driving the main subject out from the sphere.

It is a postponement of the sign from one place to another. That indicates

signified is missing in the signification of semi logical system and through

which a ritual happens.

To fill the gap, and to prove that folkloric message has a force in it, it’s

outcome should be challenged as universal system but men treat these

folklores simply as universal law and react neutrally. As I have mentioned

earlier that the missing part cannot be a sexiest language, but the return of

the postponing subject (either bride, beloved, mother, wife, or daughter)

for whom the other women- the supplement conveys her original voice.

This conveys a two fold resolution in the process of liberated feminist

thinking, first-the original voice should express her voice directly from the

folkloric representation, and secondly the other should come as a

supplement rather than as a substitution that postpones the original


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