Sing-Sing-Re: A Santhali folk song by Ramakrishnan

Krishnapada Tudu belongs to Bandwan Village in Purulia, West Bengal. A well known Santhali folk singer, he is also an exponent of the traditional instrument called the “Banam”, a single stringed instrument played with a bow. He is also a maker of the instrument, handcarving each from wood and stringing them by hand. He gets anywhere between Rs.800 and Rs.3000 for the ones he makes.

And the playing? we ask. “Ah, that takes a long time to learn,” he smiles.

Here he is, singing a folk song called Sing-Sing-Re, and accompanying himself on his beloved banam, his inseparable companion. The song is traditionally sung between the months of Pausha (December) and Baisakhi (April); and speaks of the vicissitudes of life and loss through a series of vignettes: A husband and wife discuss the difficulties in their life. The husband dies, leaving his grief stricken widow. Time passes, and their young sons grow up – and ask for money from their mother, so that they may participate in the annual hunt. And life goes on…

When: December 2018

Where: Nityananda Janvani Community Radio, Village Laulara, Purulia, West Bengal

Story by: Ramakrishnan