A Bhagnari Diwali

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This is an Oral/Aural Hxstory Project centering three stories to document our unique Bhagnari song(s) sung during this auspicious time of year. Contributors featured in this archive include: Aarti Kaanchan Mehta (Madhu Makar), Pushpa Kishore Mehta and Ramesh Poplay. Ultimately, these stories show that one single ritual can contain multiplicities. Not all Bhagnaris celebrate Diwali and not all Bhagnaris who celebrate Diwali celebrate in this particular way. But of the ones who do, some Bhagnaris sing the first line of the song as “Dim Dim Diwali aayee” while some sing “Din Din Diwali aayee” while some sing “Ding Ding Diwali aayee” while some sing “Dum Dum Diwali aayee.” There also seemed to be unanimous agreement that the second line is “Balen bachon wali aayee” until Ramesh Poplay reached out to our long-lost ancestral relative, Omprakash, who resides in Bhag, Baluchistan. Omprakash recently informed Ramesh Poplay that Bhagnaris in Bhag do indeed sing this song today, and have over time, however their iteration of the song goes “Dim Dim Diwali hai / Balen bachon wali hai.” “Aayee” translates to “is coming” while “hai” translates to “is” which shows slight differences in temporality and certainty. The diverse performance of this ritualistic practice indicates that our traditions continue to be intertwined with threads of commonalities while also maintaining unique difference.

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