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India is known all over the world for her diverse cultures and civilization. This diversity gives Indian culture a unique shape which is prominently visible in India’s various art forms. Almost all the regions of India have their specific festivals and celebrations and these festivities add an extra flavor to this unique culture of India. Every region of the country has its specific folk music and folk dance which are performed during these festivals and celebrations to express the elation and joy. These folk dances are not merely the art of a specific community, but also an asset of India’s cultural heritage.
The Bihu which is popular amongst the youths of Assam, marks the season of merriment. During the Bihu dance which is performed by almost everyone in the state, various songs are sung and these songs speak about happy harvest, feelings of love, affection and remembrance of the dear ones. During the performance of the dance, the dancers wear colorful costumes. The males are dressed in Dhotis and Gamocha. The Dhoti is a long thin cloth tied to the waist and Gamocha is an adornment tied on the head. Both the Dhoti and Gamocha are embroidered with different patterns. The female performer the body and Chador is used to cover the upper part. A blouse is also worn below the Chador. The jewelry also plays a prominent part in the adornment of female performers.
The Bihu Dance will remain incomplete without the mus ica l instruments. During the performance of the dance, various musical instruments are used. These musica l in struments include Dhol, Tall, Pepa, Toka, Baanhi, Xutuli and Gogona. Every instrument has its own signif icance during the performance of the dance. The original traditional music is produced for the living performance o f the dance. The Drum which is traditionally known as Dhol made up of wood and animal hide. Talls are small metallic cymbals that are used to create high pitched music. Pepa is a trumpet like instrument and it is made out of buffalo’s horn. Toka are clappers that are made out of bamboo. Baanhi is a flute like instrument of Assam. Xutuli is a musical instrument which is made out of bamboo or clay. Gogona is another instrument which produces ha rp like sound. When all these instruments are played together, their melodious music fills the youth of Assam with a ecstatic zeal which takes them in a frantic frenzy of Bihu dance.
Garba is the leading and popular folk dance of Gujrat which is performed all over India by the Gujratis. It is a circular form of dance which is performed by the women of the state during the auspicious days of Navaratri. This dance is also performed on Sharad Purnima, Vasant Panchami, Holi and some other festive occasions. During the Garba dance, all the pe rformers gather at an open space and stand in a circle around an idol of goddess Amba that is kept in the centre as an object of veneration. The people perform the dance around it by and clapping their hands simultaneously an d singing the songs in the praise of goddess Jagadamba. The dance begins in slow tempo but as the dance procee ds, the energy level of the performers increased due to the fast beat and tempo of the music. The music is synchronized by a drummer who stands in the middle of the performers.