Sītā of Sindh





Sindh, Sindhī community, Sindhī folk stories, Ūmar–Mārvī story, Sītā


Sītā of Sindh

The aim of this paper is to show how the Sindhī community in India (Rājasthān) builds and strengthens its identity by using both traditional and modern means of transmission. The process of reinterpretation of tradition will be demonstrated by discussing the Ūmar–Mārvī story, which belongs to the repertoire of orally transmitted local Sindhī folk stories. The Ūmar–Mārvī story mainly emphasizes local patriotism and adherence to motherland. The message of the story is still valid in the 21st century. In the Surabhi, the literary magazine on Sindhī literature in the Hindī language issued periodically in Jaypur, it took the modern form of a comic book. Thus, it provides another example of a well-known fact in Indian culture, that of the old being repeated but in a new form. Despite using modern means of transmission, traditional mechanisms can still be seen. It seems that it is not enough for the Sindhī community to continue using the folk story but, moreover, it is necessary to give the story a higher rank (a recognised one) by placing it within the frames of the mainstream tradition, that is the so-called Great Tradition of the Hindu culture. This aim is achieved by making the heroine Mārvī equal to Sītā, and, thus, the Sindhī story is linked with the great epic Rāmāyaṇa. As a result, the final product is an old Sindhī folk story presented in the form of a comic book, targeted for a wider audience than the Sindhī community exclusively, entitled Sītā of Sindh (Sindh kī Sītā).

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How to Cite

Turek, Aleksandra. 2020. “Sītā of Sindh”. Cracow Indological Studies 22 (1):55-72. https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.22.2020.01.03.