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Gulab Singh And Group

By December 5, 2023January 27th, 2024Documentations, Haryana

Celebrating the Vibrant Phag and Ghoomar

In the heartland of green fields, where tradition and culture are deeply rooted, we encountered Gulab Singh and his group, custodians of Haryana’s vibrant folk heritage. Gulab Singh, a prolific songwriter and composer, led us into the rich tapestry of Haryana’s musical traditions, showcasing the timeless beauty of Faag and Ghoomar.

Gulab Singh’s musical journey began in 1983, and he honed his skills under the guidance of the Allahabad Sangeet Samiti. In 1994, he formed his group, a collective of passionate individuals dedicated to preserving and promoting the folk arts of Haryana. Their repertoire extends beyond music, encompassing various folk forms such as Saang, Naatak, Raasleela, and Rasiya.

One of Gulab Singh’s significant contributions to Haryana’s cultural heritage is the Baramasi Ramleela, which he initiated in 1988. This folk art has become an integral part of the region’s festivities, connecting people to their roots and traditions.

Not content with keeping his talent to himself, Gulab Singh is a mentor who imparts his knowledge of folk music to eager students in Haryana, ensuring that the legacy lives on. His vision extends beyond the classroom, as he and his group actively seek to promote Haryana’s folk arts and encourage the youth to embrace their cultural roots.

Faag, a traditional seasonal dance, holds a special place in Haryana’s cultural calendar. It is a joyful expression of the agricultural community’s spirit during the months of February and March. As the crops flourish, rural folks celebrate with song and dance, bringing men and women together in rhythmic harmony. The dance involves intricate movements and requires precise coordination, with participants adorned in vibrant traditional attire. The ancient Daamal style, a fusion of dance and song, takes center stage, with unique songs accompanying each performance.

The lyrics of these Faag songs are brimming with the spirit of Holi, a vibrant Hindu festival celebrated with fervor and color. The playful exchanges and references to ornaments create a joyful atmosphere that captures the essence of the festival. It’s a time when music, dance, and colorful revelry unite communities.

Ghoomar, another captivating folk dance of Haryana, hails from the western region of the state. Characterized by graceful circular movements, this dance is often performed by girls who sing while swirling, clapping, and forming pairs. The songs accompanying Ghoomar are marked by satire, humor, and references to contemporary events, adding depth to the performance. This dance is a highlight of festivals like Holi, Gangaur Puja, and Teej, infusing these celebrations with cultural vibrancy.

In Haryana’s rural landscape, love and affection find expression in the form of traditional folk songs. These songs embody the endearing exchanges between a husband and wife, painted against the backdrop of rustic life and the charm of moonlit nights.

Gulab Singh and his group are the torchbearers of a rich legacy, ensuring that the folk traditions of Haryana remain alive and vibrant. Their commitment to preserving and promoting these art forms is not just a tribute to their ancestors but also an invitation for the youth to connect with their cultural roots and celebrate the tapestry of Haryana’s folk heritage. Through their music and performances, Gulab Singh and his group continue to weave the timeless melodies of Haryana’s cultural fabric.

Hrisha Rashmi (Volunteer)

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