“BAITHIKI- The colors of Himalayas”

The programme Holi is designed to promote and conserve our old traditional “Baithiki Holi” which is now very limited and on the verge of collapsing. Baithiki is a very first initiative by “Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India” to promote this traditional way of holi singing . It is going to start from 23 march to 28 march 2015 at Parvatiya Sabha, Lakhanpur Ramnagar Nainital Uttarakhand.

Baithiki Holi stands for sitting; literally it is a form of musical get together during Holi and even before Holi. In some areas of Kumaun, it starts even earlier, at the peak of Winter on the first Sunday of the Indian month of “Paush”. In some areas, it starts from the day of Basant Panchami till Dulhendi or the last moon day of the lunar month “Phaguna”

For the general populace, this special sitting is a pure classical gathering of trained singers but the reality differs. It is an incredible amalgamation of zeal, colours, feeling of joy, spices of ragas and untrained people interested in classical music like Rajasthani Folk music. The artists of this genre are very traditional and under the influence of Ragas i.e. Pahadi and Kaafi. This is becoming more and more a hierarchical tradition and like other traditional arts, is vanishing due to lack of resources and sustenance and being ignored by the general public for several reasons. One of the major reasons is the limited audience for this tradition.

Our aim is to spread this local breathless tradition in a streamlined flow and to render a proper platform to this art form and its artists. The audience for this art form is very small, in fact within the four walls of a house for 20-30 listeners. So, folks do not want to waste their time to learn this pattern of singing and to follow a sector of the performing arts which is not growing and blossoming. Artists who belong to this art, can neither perform to large crowds nor earn anything from his/her art field.

Being concerned with these issues, we the team- BHOR want to create a proper platform and channel for this art form as well as its artists, where they can earn recognition, fame and monetary assistance for their livelihood. By the same token,     newcomers will also learn the Baithiki Holi, once this will help them to earn a living and receive appreciation from society.

The Holi is a festival cum seminar cum workshop programme which will last for 7 days, and include inauguration day, 5 days of workshops, and a final day celebration. We are going to include degree colleges students, inter college students and school level interested students to come into the fraternity of Kumauni Baithiki Holi. During the inauguration day and the final day, guest artists will commence the magical trip via performances and demos. An interaction has also been scheduled between the general public and the artists. The five days of workshops will be lead by experts in the field and upcoming stars will also perform at the final ceremony.

Bhor Activities to date: BHOR has been working in the field of arts and culture for more than 3 years. In its initial stage, a short film was made under the banner of BHOR. This film “Rikkkt” revolves around the heavy dominated patriarchal mindset of society which is unable to answer so many questions. Afterwards, with the collaboration of SIRFF (another organisation) a short two day film festival was held for the very first time in Ramnagar, Nainital, Uttarakhand.

In January 2014, the mega event PECAH (Programme of Exchange in Culture and Arts of Himalayas) was introduced. This 30 days long event was an International Artistic Exchange Programme in which 12 artists from 8 countries participated in a month long artists’ residency in Manila, Uttarakhand. It was coordinated by hard working members/staff and national and international co-ordinators from various parts of the world.

BHOR is very well equipped to execute this Baithiki Holi festival supported by a new young, aspirational and innovative staff and its skilled management members.