Friday, February 20, 2009

The Greater Mithila.....

Maithili, an Eastern Indic language, is spoken in Mithila. Maithili has previously been considered a dialect of both Hindi and Bengali. Today Maithili, is recognized in the Eighth Schedule of Indian official languages. Maithili sounds sweet and soft to outsiders, who often cannot tell whether an argument is taking place.

The Mithila region is rich with culture and traditions. People respect their parents, believe in peaceful life and have a strong belief in God. They worship the goddess of Power Durga. Every home of Mithila has own God or Goddess named Kuldevta. They generally live in larger families. The Hindu festivals are widely celebrated: Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Chhath and Shivratri.
A Mundan ceremony in Mithila.

The Mundan ceremony is a very popular tradition in Mithila. A child's hair is shaved for the first time, accompanied by bhoj (a party) and (sometimes extravagant) celebrations.

The Maithili marriage traditions are important to the people and unique to the region. The custom includes four days of marriage ceremonies called: Chautrthi, Barsait, Madhushravni, Kojagara, and finally Duragman (the first homecoming of the bride). The marriage is traditionally fixed using complex genealogical tables, called Panchang among Brahmins and Karna Kayasthas.



The name Mithila is also used to refer to a style of Hindu art, Madhubani art, created in the Mithila area. This art originated as ritual geometric and symbolic decorations on the walls and floors of a house, generally done by women before a marriage. The custom was not known to many outside the region. After paper was brought to the area, women began to sell their artwork and expand their subjects to popular and local Hindu deities as well as to the depiction of everyday events. Ganga Devi is perhaps the most famous Mithila artist; her work includes traditional ritual Mithila decorations, depictions of popular deities, scenes from the Ramayana, and events in her own life.

Folk stories are called grandmother stories in Mithila. The story of Gonu Jha is one popular tale.

A small film industry also exists. Of the many movies produced in Mailthili, "Sasta Jingi Mahag Senoor" and "Mamta Gabe Geet" are perhaps the best known.Off late " Sindurdan " also collected accolades. Among the documentary films that best presents the unparalleled cultural richness of Mithila are "The Cultural Heritage of Mithila" and "Mithila Paintings" by renowned filmmaker Kaushalesh Choudhary.

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