Tamang Selo:An Anthology -Annotated Text and English Translation -Edied by Sayantan Dasgupta and Shradhanjali Tamang volume-II

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Tamang Selo is an indispensible part of Nepali folk music.The features that are present in the folk music of other
languages can be found in Tamang Selo as well.That’s why before discussing Tamang Selo, one must describe the nature of music and folk music in general.Various scholars hold various opinions on music. Mohanraj Sharma says, “A song is a small work in verse, without a narrative, meant to be sung, in which any emotion or state of mind is expressed in a condensed form.”Song is primarily a verse form, and thus, the time and rhythm must be maintained. In this way, time and metre lend pace and regularity to the song. It is short and lacks a narrative. Its lyric form demands the following of certain rules. Even though it is short, the beginning, middle and end are complete and defined. Thus, in the beginning, we find an introduction, in the middle, the subject introduced
in the beginning is established, and in the end, one finds the conclusion.Music and folk music are the murmuring of the
expression of life, both attempt to capture the subtle points of life and the world. Folk music gathers the awakening,
blossoming, sorrowful moments of life. Folk music does not differentiate between race, gender and social barriers and can be easily sung by people of all ages and classes.Thus, the difference is only this – that folk music represents the popular state of mind, while a song represents the poet’s heart.Tamangs are a Tibeto-Burman group and one among many ethnic groups that constitute the ‘Nepali’ community. In India Tamangs live along the Himalayan belt but are found in large numbers in the hills and Dooars of Darjeeling and Sikkim. Tamangs have their own distinct Tamang language,culture, history and traditions.
The Tamang language is not a scripted language and has been written in the Tibetan and Devnagari scripts only
relatively recently. A modified version of the Tibetan script has been recently accepted as the script for the Tamang
language. The Tamang language is one of the endangered languages of the hills of North Bengal. According to the 2001 census of India, there are 15,00,000 Tamangs in India but only 17,494 speakers of the Tamang language.” The Tamang language and Tamang literature are part of the primary education system in schools run by the Sikkim government but the Tamang language is not recognized by the West Bengal education boards.The repository of Tamang literature is largely oral and without a fixed authorial identity.

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