Muslim art forms being revived in Kerala

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Malappuram (Kerala), June 12 (ANI): In a bid to revive the Muslim art forms, a center for performing arts and culture at a district in Kerala has taken the initiative to impart training to the youth in such art forms.

Moyinkutty Vaidayar Smarakam Mapplah Kala Academy is running under the aegis of the Cultural Department of Kerala Government where most of the Muslim art forms are taught to preserve rich traditions.

Youngsters enroll for the training from various parts of Kerala particularly from the northern regions. They are selected on the basis of their interest in the art form and their writing abilities.

The courses are held in various mapplah (Muslim) art forms like Oppana, Mapplah Pattu, Kolkalli, Duff Muttu, Vetta Pattu. Students undergo practical as well as theoretical classes.

"Here, I can learn and understand various arts forms. Teachers teach us many things and clear our doubts. We have learnt the actual names of the art forms; how they are performed and compared to earlier times what all changes took place," said Geetu Kumari, a student.

Highly professional teachers teach the students the traditional art and dance forms for which even a well-planned syllabus is set.

Besides the physically fit students, blind students are also given music proficiency and taught basic Arabic language.

After the completion of each course, a written test is conducted and a certificates given.

"The benefit of the center is that after completing studies from here, students can not only teach others or impart knowledge but can also perform at schools, colleges or any polytechnic institute competitions," said Bakkar Panniyoor, coordinator of the Academy.

Oppana, a common ritual performing art practiced by the Muslim women in the Malabar region of Kerala, is performed to commemorate the nuptial celebrations of the bride and is part of the wedding festivities.

Kolkali is a group dance form of the farming community. Twelve to twenty four dancers move rhythmically in a circle. They tap two feet long wooden sticks held in their hands while moving around. A ceremonial lamp is placed in the center of the circle.

Duff Muttu or the Duff Kalli is an art form performed in Kerala to celebrate festivals and occasions connected with mosques and madrasas.

The ritual art was initially performed in Madina in South Arabia. It was performed on the paddy fields of Arabia where the artists used to sing in the praise of lord.

The Duff (Dubh) is a musical percussion instrument made of wood and ox skin. It is also known as the Thappitta. Sometimes, the Aravana is used instead of the Duff. Hence, the art is sometimes called the Alravana Muttu or Aravana Kalli.

Every year, the Kerala Government organizes art and music competitions in schools and other educational institutions of the state to ensure the interest of the young generation in the art forms. By Juhan Samuel (ANI)

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