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Aarati In Emar Thar

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata

The Hindu culture is a very rich and vast culture. All the year round they have one or the other festival to celebrate. They offer Pujas to different Gods and Goddesses . It is rightly said that a Hindu celebrates thirteen festivals in twelve months. But each and every community has its own unique way to perform the festivals.

The Bishnupriya Manipuri community, also being a Hindu community, performs different pujas. The rituals followed by them are very elaborate. One unique feature of the community is the chanting of Aratis while performing puja. Aratis are performed mainly in the morning, noon and afternoon. The morning aarati is called Mongolarti, noon its called Bhogarati and evening it is called Sendarati. The aartis are mainly sung in Brajabali language, similar to Bengali.

During my last visit to my in-law's village, New Bhakatpur, Silchar to attend Basanti Puja, pledged by my mother-in-law, I witnessed a very unusual thing there. The Mongalarati and Bhogarati are performed by the village people but I was surprised to see that each and every day, for four days during sendarti, different aarti performers from far off villages came voluntarily and performed aarati. It was like having a competition. Every day there were three to four groups who came to perform. It was a real pleasure to witness so many potentials of our community.

Though all the aarati groups were incomparable, yet one group I would say had an edge on the others- the aarati performers of Silchar Town. They performed the whole aarati in Emar Thar (mother tongue). But they did not fondle the original tune and melody of the songs, only the lyrics were translated to Bishnupriya manipuri language, which I would say is an effort taken by them for which they need a standing ovation.

The performers that came from Silchar were mostly women in Chakchabi and Inafi namely- Sandhya Mukherjee, Ruprekha Rajkumari, Rinku Sinha, Putia Sinha, Lalita Sinha, Munu Sinha and were accompanied by the men in Phaichom and Punjabi namely- Sri Chandrakanta Sinha(Retd. Additional I.T. commissioner), Sri Ramananda Rajkumar and Sri Gunadhar Sinha.

There may be other groups who perform aaratis in our language, but this group is the first I ever heard performing aartis in our language and for that I thought of penning down whatever I could recollect.


  1. Dear Rishikesh

    Thanks for presenting such kind of article.

    I always appreciate the contributions of Ranita Sinha in this blog as her articles are related to our own culture and tradition.

    During the late 70s, I enjoyed such kind of aarti competiton in Singla region (Karimganj district) in a Durga Puja festival. There was a 'dol' competition by the aarati performers which enthralled all the festival revellers.

    But I little confused when I read "Aarati in 'Aamar Thar'". I think it should be Aarati in Emar thar/Imar Thar or 'own dialect' or 'mother tongue'.

    Some people used to say our mother tongue as Emar Thar, even me also but not as Aamar Thar.

    As the article is writen here in English, 'Aamar Thar' is, I think, not appropriate. Ranita should write it as 'Aarati in own dialect, "Aarati in Bishnupriya Manipuri or Aarati in mother tongue or Aarati in Emar Thar.

    This is just an opinion. I invite resource persons to offer their valuable suggestions or opinion for benefit of the today's boys and girls.

    It is seen that many people, particularly young boys and girls are gradually losing interest in own language. Even they proudly said " I can't read books on our own language." Many young boys and girls do not know the meaning of the words like 'Thong, Kharol, mung-Maja, nombai, goraipa, hounabi, souna, hiram, thapakali, lousing etc. Time has come to think as to how the talented boys and girls can be involved to enrich our literature and tradition and culture.

    I have seen so many latent talents here who used to write and pass comment in this blog.I really proud of them. At the same time I expect, they should contribute more to enrich our culture. I think, in future, they will be torch bearer of our society. So I expect some thought provoking article from them.

    Thanks Ranita for your contribution

  2. @ Mr Ranjit,

    Thank u very much for your valuable suggestion..I was also in a dilemma while writing, which word to use 'Emar thar' or Amar thar' and later went with 'Amar thar'..I will ask Rishikesh' to do the needful..Thanks once again for clearing my doubt..

    It is also great to know that U are also from Patherkandi as my root also belong to village Tinokhal, Patherkandi.


  3. Earlier,even today,our all cultural songs are sung in Bengali,whether it is Raaslila, Shradwa or Aarti.I would say,when people started singing in (Emar thar)mother tongue,the listeners never say,emar thare,they always say, rather boast of saying 'amar thare'(IN OUR LAGUAGE).The words.. amar thar, are all the vogue, whether it is wrong or wright,
    people continue saying so.

  4. The language name is classifeid in Ethlogue of SiL International, Wikipedia and other authorities with alternate name Imar Thar/Emar Thar(ইমার ঠার), so it is appropriate and justified to use the above terms which are recognized.

    People refer to their own language by saying "amar thare" doesnt mean it is the language name, just like a Bengali telling "amader bhasa" doesnt mean "amader bhasa" is an alternate to Bengali language.


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