Coimbatore: More than 1,000 students from across 25 schools in the district participated in ‘Salangai Kalaivizha’, a two-day government-organized folk arts festival that concluded on Thursday.
The aim of the festival was to inspire more schools to impart folk arts to students as they are dying a slow death.Most of the young adults are alien to traditional art forms such as parai attam and poikkal attam.
“Schools that offer Bharatanatyam and even western dance do not teach our folk arts and even sports like silambattam,” Sankar Narayan of Koothaadi Kootam, which organized the event at SMS College of Arts and Science at Perur, said.
“Categories like parai attam, oyilattam, silambattam and karagattam and mime saw good participation,” Narayanan told TOI.The overall trophy was bagged by Isha Vidyalaya.“We want to create more awareness among students, parents and schools about various folk arts, so they can offer classes on them,” Narayanan added.
“Unless we manage to catch a street play by folk artists, or attend a festival in one of the smaller villages, people in urban areas often go years without watching our traditional folk dances including parai attam, a dance with drums, poikkal attam in which dancers dress up as animals or oyilattam where dancers dance with two cloths tied to hands.”The event saw six folk dance categories, four instrument categories including jamab, parai and urumi and two singing categoriesvillu paattu and naattupura paattu, and drama skill categories including mime and mono act.
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