Mangaluru: It is for the first time in the history of Mangaluru University, a college is offering a certificate course in 'Ghumat', a traditional percussion instrument.
Milagres College of Hampankatta is the college, whose principal has shown interest in offering certificate course on the Konkani folklore of the bygone days. A total of 40 students, including 10 girls of this college have been studying this 'Ghumat' from the past few days.
As the students of this college used to spend more time on their mobile phones, western music and other popular forms of entertainment, Michael Santhumayor, principal of the college decided to revive this folklore 'Ghumat' through students. Hence he approached Joel Pereira, who is among the few players of Konkani-speaking Catholic community and has learned the art from his father Jochim Pereira, a known artiste in the community.
With the request of Michael Santhumayor, Joel Pereira has been teaching this traditional Ghumat percussion instrument from January 21. Students use to spend an hour daily, to learn this Ghumat instrument. After the routine classes, they engage in playing 'Ghumat' with the guidance of their teacher Joel Pereira. As this folklore involves lyrics, tunes and the beats, students first learn the lyrics, then the tunes and finally the beats.
The students are now eagerly awaiting the final performance which will be held on February 9. After their final performance, certificates will be given to them.
It is really sad that this art form is now on the verge of extinction. Earlier, Ghumat was played extensively in festivals and weddings that lasted almost three days, with the Konkani speaking community of Uttara Kannada district and Dakshina Kannada district. Though this art form is still prevalent among the Kudubi community in Uttara Kannada district, it has almost vanished in Dakshina Kannada district, says Music Coordinator of Milagres College Prem Moras.
Michael Santhumayor told newskarnataka.com that it is the first time that this traditional Ghumat percussion instrument is being taught in a college. "As youth play an important role in passing on traditional culture to the next generation, I planned to start it in our college. Initially, students did not show interest in this folklore. But, later they evinced interest in learning this. Our plan is to spread this art form among students of other institutes also. Hence, we are planning to go to other colleges of the district and to inspire the students with our performance. Our intention is to revive this ancient art form and transfer it to the next generation", he said.
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