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Seminar on Karbi folklore, philosophy

Dharamsing Teron (centre), Dr JN Phukan (right) and Dr Deepa Dutt at the seminar.
 GUWAHATI, Dec 12 – A seminar-cum-talk was organised by the Institute of Research and Documentation of Indigenous Studies, IRDIS, on December 9 at the conference hall of the Assam Institute of Research for Tribals and Scheduled Tribes, Khanapara here. The talk on ‘Karbi folklore and philosophy’ was delivered by Dharamsing Teron, noted social scientist and an authority on Karbi oral narratives and folklore. Teron dwelt at length on various aspects of Karbi history, culture, society, life and traditions with reference to Karbi philosophy and spirituality, Karbi folklore and oral traditions. This was stated in a press release.

 Teron stressed that philosophy was not only the domain of those recognized as philosophers per se but of peoples in general regardless of whether they are labelled ‘primitive’ or ‘modern,’ as they indeed have defined the world as we know it today. He also observed that serious authors have been writing of ‘popular philosophy,’ ‘common sense philosophy,’ and ‘folk philosophy’ for some time now, more or less in the sense of a ‘worldview’, which is coherently held and expressed in different cultural or ethnic contexts and practices. He was of the view that philosophy is not discussed at all in India in the context of the indigenous people such as the Karbis and that this is a matter of some concern. He also outlined important philosophical themes that defined Karbi thought and action and the Karbi world in general.

Prof JN Phukan, noted historian and scholar, in his introductory speech stressed on the importance of documenting oral traditions, oral history and narratives for communities who have no documented text on their history, culture and society .

The executive director of IRDIS, Dr Deepa Dutt, in her address, stated that the initiative taken up by IRDIS to hold the seminar series during 2014-15 wherein the talk for each seminar will be delivered by a resource person of a particular community, is to know more about the social and cultural heritage, history, folklore, traditional knowledge and the value systems of the many culturally and socially rich communities of the State.

Dr Dutt added that such an endeavour is aimed at creating a platform to encourage meetings, intellectual discourses, interaction and exchanges between the members of the various ethnic communities as well as scholars and researchers on varied topics of indigenous studies.

Members, students and scholars from various communities including Karbis, Tiwas, Rabhas, Amre Karbis and Singphos attended the seminar and participated in the interactive session. Faculty members and researchers from Gauhati University and other research institutions participated in the seminar, the release added.

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