The Saangs as Cultural Heritage of Haryana
Theater, a medium of representation is a phenomenon interconnected with the production and formulation of meaning using the spatial arts. Folk narratives defined as people’s perception of their group identity, models of conduct and human endeavor, symbolic structures of history and mythology exist as ‘memory text’ in the minds of performers who consciously/unconsciously resonate ethics, values, identity, and culture of the region. The accounts on ethics, dharma, Karma are grounded in “folk-knowledge” and are transferred through folk performers establishing theatrical space as knowledge systems. In Indian context, many folk performances map the dominant belief of Dharma (righteousness) and Karma (action). Dharma is a signpost and Karma is our actions. Haryanvi folk theater exhibits the interplay of ‘little traditions’ through saang- a form of folk theater. Saang is the identity marker of Haryana having its locus in the ethical codes centering around Indian philosophical discourse. The paper will focus on saang as repository of culture and identity. The transmission of the cultural narratives through retellings and folk performances is an identity construct. The research will discuss saang as cultural heritage with a special reference to Lakhmichand’s saang of Raja Harishchander and would elaborate on Haryanvi folk theater as promoter of the ethics and values.
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