Storytime in India
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Stories are the backbone of ethnographic research. During fieldwork, subjects describe their lives through stories. Afterward ethnographers come home from their journeys with stories of their own about their experiences in the field.

Storytime in India is an exploration of the stories that come out of ethnographic fieldwork. Helen Priscilla Myers and Umesh Chandra Pandey examine the ways in which their research collecting Bhojpuri wedding songs became interwoven with the stories of their lives, their work together, and their shared experience reading The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope. Moving through these intertwined stories, the reader learns about the complete Bhojpuri wedding tradition through songs sung by Gangajali and access to the original song recordings and their translations. In the interludes, Pandey reads and interprets The Eustace Diamonds, confronting the reader with the ever-present influence of colonialism, both in India and in ethnographic fieldwork. Interwoven throughout are stories of the everyday, highlighting the ups and downs of the ethnographic experience.

Storytime in India combines the style of the Victorian novel with the structure of traditional Indian village tales, in which stories are told within stories. This book questions how we can and should present ethnography as well as what we really learn in the field. As Myers and Pandey ultimately conclude, writers of scholarly books are storytellers themselves and scholarly books are a form of art, just like the traditions they study.


List of Songs and Accessing the Audio Files


Introduction: Umesh Explains Storytime

1. A Fulbright Grant to Banaras, India

2. Toast

Interlude I: Lizzy Greystock

3. Setting Up Our Apartment in Banaras, 2007

4. The Daily Routine

Interlude II: Sir Florian

5. Arranging an Indian Wedding

6. The Search for a Boy

7. Helen and Umesh Meet

8. Viewing the Bride

9. The Tilak Talk Begins

10. Gangajali

11. The Tilak, Explained by Umesh

12. Song Journey

13. Tilak Songs

14. "Dress Him in a Bra and Bodice": Gali for the Tilak

15. The Songs Become Personal

16. "We Sell Dreams"

17. Saguni Songs: "This night is ours"

Interlude III: Lady Eustace

18. Umesh Remembers Charlotte Wiser

19. Matikor: Sashi Interrupts, but We Do Not Hear "A Mare Has Pissed"

20. Helen's Pounding Pot

21. Umesh Explains Gali

Interlude IV. Lucy Morris

22. The Kalas and the Harish

23. Arranging a Priest

24. Wedding Expenses

25. The Island Diaspora: My Introduction to Indian Culture from Far Away

Interlude V: Frank Greystock

26. Grannie Music

27. Ethnomusicology

28. The Turmeric Is Pleasing

Interlude VI: The Eustace Necklace

29. Heat

30. Kissing

31. The Bride and Groom go to the Kohabar

32. Sahana Songs before the Wedding Ritual: The Blue Blue Horse

33. Umesh Tells the Krishna Story

Interlude VII: Lady Linlithgow's Mission, , The Sawab of Mygawb

34. And Love

35. Kabir

36. Great Novels and Lesser Novels

37. Trapping the Family Gods

Interlude VIII: Mr. Burke's Speeches

38. Helen Contracts Typhoid

39. Getting the Siri at the Home of the Potter

40. My Husband Is the Inspector of Police

Interlude IX: The Conquering Hero Comes

41. The Evil Eye

42. Umesh Gets Malaria

43. On the Stage, the Bridegroom Puts on His Garments

44. Preparing for Winter

45. Adorn the Elephant, Adorn the Horse

46. The Jaluaa

47. The Story of Krishna and the Crocodile: A Song with Many Many Stories

48. Umesh Tells the Remainder of the Krishna Story

49. More Jaluaa Songs and Stories

Interlude X: Showing What the Miss Fawns Said, and What Mrs. Hittaway Thought

50. Charlotte Wiser Leaves Karimganj

51. Wedding Night

52. Mona's Nacchu Nahawan in Rasalpur

53. Protecting the Bride from the Evil Eye

Interlude XI: Lizzie and Her Lover

54. Arrival at the Janmassa

55. Gali for Barati People and Bridegroom

56. What about Clothes and Ornaments

57. Bhajan Interlude

Interlude XII: Lord Fawn at His Office

58. Umesh Recalls His Wedding

59. Feeding the Wedding Party

60. Dwar Puja—The New System

61. The Animal Party

62. Departure of the Barat

Interlude XIII: I Only Thought of It

63. The Bridegroom Enters the Courtyard

64. The Bride Enters the Courtyard

65. Donation of the Virgin Daughter

66. Ceremony of the Puffed Rice

67. The Sindur Ritual

68. The Kohabar Ritual

69. Ceremony at the Ganges

Interlude XIV: Showing What Frank Greystock Did

70. Arrival of the Bride in her Sasural, the Gauna

71. Love Marriages

72. Five Days

73. Just One More Song

74. Gangajali's Story

Interlude XV: "Doan't Thou Marry for Munny"

75. One Last Song

Interlude XVI: I'll Give You a Hundred Guinea Broach

76. Preparing for China

77. Leaving Banaras in 2008

78. Conclusion

Interlude XVII: The Eustace Diamonds

79. Umesh Tells a Story from Karimganj

80. A Passage to India

81. Bangles in Ballia

82. Across the Seven Seas

83. Umesh Arranges for the Swan's Quill

84. The Religion of Humanity

85. Storytime

Appendix: Rituals of the Hindu Wedding in Ballia






Publié par
Date de parution 14 juin 2019
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9780253041647
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0062€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Map of India and Nepal, showing the Bhojpuri Region. By Jordan Blekking .

Wedding Songs, Victorian Tales, and the Ethnographic Experience
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2019 by Helen P. Myers and Umesh Pandey
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-04162-3 (hardback)
ISBN 978-0-253-04163-0 (paperback)
ISBN 978-0-253-04165-4 (ebook)
1 2 3 4 5 24 23 22 21 20 19
To the memory of our mothers, Elsie Phillips Myers Stainton Atarpyari Pandey
In which thanks are given for the many people who helped in the creation of this book .
In which the reader receives instructions on how to listen to Gangajali singing the songs encountered throughout this book .

In which the structure of the book and the purpose of the book are explained .
Introduction : Umesh Explains Storytime
In which Umesh tells the meaning of storytime in the Indian village .
1. A Fulbright Grant to Banaras, India
In which Helen has just returned to Banaras, India, from her mother s funeral. To solace herself, she starts to read an old favorite , The Eustace Diamonds, by Anthony Trollope. She recalls how her mother and she enjoyed this book together .
2. Toast
Umesh and Helen share a simple evening meal of tea and toast. Helen tells about meeting Umesh in 1986, about their work together, and about Umesh s medical problems. We awaken in the morning and have breakfast-again, tea and toast .
Interlude I: Lizzie Greystock
In which we meet Lizzie Greystock from The Eustace Diamonds, by Anthony Trollope. Helen tries reading this first chapter about Lizzie and her jewelry to Umesh. Umesh immediately loves Lizzie s story and cares about her fate. And he explains why such ornaments that please Lizzie are also important in India. He is quite ready to confront the postcolonial white other .
3. Setting Up Our Apartment in Banaras, 2007
In which Umesh tells how we furnished our apartment in Banaras. We went shopping to buy the items that Umesh considered necessary for our nine-month stay .
4. The Daily Routine
In which Helen describes our working routine for 2007, and we decide to tackle the translation into English of four thousand pages of Bhojpuri poetry .
Interlude II: Sir Florian
In which Helen continues reading chapter 1 from The Eustace Diamonds to Umesh. Umesh reflects on the difference between modern Indian weddings and weddings in Victorian England. Umesh discusses the issue of a widow remarrying in today s India. More short stories are told .
5. Arranging an Indian Wedding
In which the many challenges of having a daughter are described by Umesh. He also explains how, nowadays, the parents of the bridegroom are looking for a well-educated bride. It was not so in the past, when most girls were denied an education. So the situation in modern India shows much progress on women s issues .
6. The Search for a Boy
In which Umesh explains how the girl s father makes a search for a suitable husband for his daughter. The mother and the daughter will press the father to find a handsome groom. But Umesh explains that a daughter cannot live off handsomeness. She cannot lick it, he says .
7. Helen and Umesh Meet
In which Helen and Umesh first meet in the Archive and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology, New Delhi. The year was 1986, and the day was October 31, Halloween. Umesh declares that he would like to be in heaven .
8. Viewing the Bride
In which Umesh tells about how the prospective bride is brought to the groom and his family to be examined. The boy s family is looking to see if the girl is deformed-if she limps or if she stutters. Although the girl is feeling extremely shy, her face is uncovered for all to see .
9. The Tilak Talk Begins
In which Umesh explains how the talk about money begins between the father of the girl and the father of the boy. If they are in agreement, they start planning for the tilak ceremony. The middleman tells the family of the girl what to bring for the tilak according to the customs of the boy s village .
10. Gangajali
We jump back to July 1989, when we first meet our heroine, Gangajali. Helen explains to Gangajali how she can help with her research if she can sing wedding songs. Gangajali says she would be happy to do that. Gangajali explains that she knows how to face the storm from the beginning to the end.
11. The Tilak , Explained by Umesh
In which Umesh explains the preparations in the girl s home to go to the boy s side for the tilak ceremony. The girl s side is expected to bring many items for the boy. The receipts are kept for all the items that the girl s side brings, and everybody in the village knows exactly how much money the girl s father has spent on his daughter s wedding .
12. Song Journey
In which Helen and Umesh begin their search by bicycle rickshaw for a village outside Banaras in which to conduct research. Suddenly, along a lane, they happen upon a group of women winnowing grain. Helen jumps off the rickshaw and dashes toward them with a tape recorder in her hand. Their boss directs them to Banaras Hindu University to meet with Dr. Ram Sagar Singh .
13. Tilak Songs
In which Gangajali sings three songs for the tilak ceremony. The first is a religious song about the wedding of Lord Shiva. Then following are two songs about the tilak ceremony proper and the gifts to be given. In 2007, we translate these three songs, and it proves to be difficult and time consuming .
14. Dress Him in a Bra and Bodice : Gali for the Tilak
In which Gangajali sings eight gali, loving women s songs of abuse and joking (and swearing) sung at the tilak ceremony. We hear a few dirty words in the songs .
15. The Songs Become Personal
Gangajali sings of how Helen was sold by her brother James to the Inspector of Police for five rupees. And in song she tells how Helen was dragged into the chickpea field by the Bear of Ballia .
16. We Sell Dreams
In which Umesh explains how village folk compare their weddings to the weddings of ancient kings and queens and to Hindu gods and goddesses. While they may sing about pure pearls, in fact, the village people have only rice. The great Bollywood star Raj Kapoor said, We sell dreams.
17. Saguni Songs: This Night Is Ours
In which Gangajali sings a number of auspicious sagun songs. Gangajali includes sagun regarding Gauri and Shiva and also those honoring Sita and Ram .
Interlude III: Lady Eustace
In which Umesh explains the character of Lizzie Eustace .
18. Umesh Remembers Charlotte Wiser
In which Umesh recalls loving memories of Dadi, Charlotte Wiser, who lived in his home for many years. He tells of her writing methods while she was composing the classic anthropological ethnography Behind Mud Walls.
19. Matikor: Sashi Interrupts, but We Do Not Hear A Mare Has Pissed
In which Gangajali sings songs for the matikor ceremony during which Mother Earth is worshiped. A gali is sung for Helen, who is carried off into the forest by an old gray wolf. All these songs are explained by Umesh. Sashi and Gangajali chatter with each other throughout, and this is quite amusing .
20. Helen s Pounding Pot
In which Gangajali sings two gali songs that are sung after the matikor ceremony. Helen s vagina is sung of, and Helen s pounding pot is considered very deep. All these funny gali are discussed by Gangajali, Sashi, and Umesh. Everybody enjoys Sashi s enthusiasm for these silly songs .
21. Umesh Explains Gali
In which Umesh explains that gali songs are loving and are not intended to hurt anyone. Certainly, village wives could never do this in normal life, but at the time of a wedding, they are allowed to hurl these insults at almost any target .
Interlude IV: Lucy Morris
In which we learn about Lucy Morris. Confusion presents itself: who is the heroine of the tale? Trollope comments, that heroine shall not be Lady Eustace . The real heroine shall stalk in among us at some considerably later period of the narrative, when the writer shall have accustomed himself to the flow of words, and have worked himself up to a state of mind fit for the reception of noble acting and noble speaking.
22. The Kalas and the Harish
In which Gangajali sings songs for the preparation of the altar ( chauk ) and decorating the wedding pitcher ( kalas ). The scene shifts to Banaras 2007, when Helen and Umesh pause their translation work and enjoy a few snacks .
23. Arranging a Priest
In which Umesh explains that the village priest may be good enough for the smaller ceremonies. However, for the actual wedding ceremony, a good priest from the district town should be hired .
24. Wedding Expense

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