A shared musical legacy binds India to South East and Far East Asia region, says Yogesh Pawar as he tracks musicologist Piyal Bhattacharya's quest to bring back the Burmese harp, a precursor to the veena still being played in that country
Historians have long spoken of a Greater India encompassing the historical, geographic and political entities of the Indian subcontinent and beyond, a connect that evolved in varying degrees with the acceptance and induction of cultural and institutional elements. But, apart from spirituality, social practices and spices, of course, what else ties India to this region, particularly South East and Far East Asia?
“It has to be music,” says Piyal Bhattacharya, Nāṭya Śāstra research scholar and Sangeet Natak Akademi intangible cultural heritage fellow, who is doggedly working to revive the craft of making and playing the ancient Indian harp, the precursor to the veena, which survives and thrives in neighbouring Myanmar.
It’s a piece of India’s musical legacy and the multifaceted Bhattacharya -- musicologist, Sanskrit scholar and Kathakali dancer amongst his many other callings -- is determined to battle issues of funding and bureaucratic delays to bring it back.
Full story: DNA India
Discussion on Burmese history and culture.
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