NEELAM AND GROUP

Gaddi community has both lower and higher castes. They follow a very different culture and traditions making them different from the other communities. They have a beautiful culture of folk songs which is divided according to the occasions that occur in ones’ life. They are mostly found in the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh. They follow Hindu religion and belong to several castes like Brahmin, Rajput, Dhangar, Khatri, Rana and Thakur. They have preserved their traditional culture in the original form till date. Gaddi music can be divided into various categories like marriage songs, festivity songs, love songs, historical songs, and religious songs. While singing these songs they dress up in their traditional costume which is quite unique. The men wear a frock like a cloak of white called ‘Chola’, which is secured around waist with many woollen sashes. They wear the high peaked cap which is pulled down over the ears in severe winter. The female dancers wear the traditional Himachali dress while performing, which is specifically worn by brides at the time of marriage. The flaring bottom gown is called Nuachadi; the covering dupatta is called ‘reeda’; and the black ‘dori’ tied on the waist, which is said to be worn by Lord Shiva when he became a ‘Jogi’. The accessories used for ‘Shringaar’ are Chidi and Maang Teeka (the head accessory), Chandrahaar (the silver necklace), Gojri (silver bracelet), Nath (a big nose ring).

With beautiful and traditional attires the group presents their famous gaddi performances. They all belong to a small village in Dharamshala. Although most of them have a job other than pursuing music in their lives. Neelam, the group leader of this group directs the acts of the dance performance and the songs. The dance members give a beautiful coordinated performance with the traditional songs sung by Neelam and her fellow artists. Gaddi folk form is passed on from one generation to another have learnt this art form from their families as Gaddi is present in their lives from generations and it passes on to another through the medium of daily reciting. The attire the group wears is the actual wedding dresses worn by them in their weddings, the ones who are not married they borrow it from someone who is married. Neelam and group are very happy and contented with the feeling that they were able to present their acts on various events organised by the government.

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