‘Communicating To Communities’ Workshop: Folk media for Development Communication

Department of Social Work, Amritapuri Campus organized a one week workshop on “Communicating to Communities”. The workshop that has begun on 22nd  extends till 27th of April 2013. This workshop covers Participatory Learning and Action and Folk media for development communication. The aim of this workshop is to impart skill development training to MSW students.

On 22nd April 2013, the workshop started at 9.30 am. Mr. Prasanth and Mr. Girish were the two resource persons who dealt with the first session, “Folk Media for Development Communication”. Mr. Prasanth, is the representative from the group ‘Navour:Folk songs and plays’, Kanjoor Nattupolika, Ernakulam. The group is concerned with the promotion of folklore.  He has been wor102_3920king in this group since last 10 years. He spoke about the importance of folk songs. He mentioned that these songs are not written songs but are transferred by mouth and it depicts the history of the society. A song gets into the category of folk songs after hundreds of years of its origin. These songs are the findings from the past. It represents the traditions, customs, rituals and the culture that we followed in early days. It also explains about our life style in the past. Like folk songs, proverbs are also a part of folklore. He made comments on Kalabhavan Mani’s (famous actor/singer) folk songs. The songs composed by Mani cannot be considered as real folk songs as it is written by someone for the purpose and thus not a part of tradition. He said that the folk songs are losing its importance today. Now a day no one knows much about the traditional folk arts. Kadhakali stands more prominent in Kerala than other folk art forms. The common man cannot understand the theme which kadhakali communicates. He said that around 400 varieties of Theyyam exist in Northern Kerala. Theyyam has its own power and importance in that region because of its association with religion. Theyyam is not only a religious art but also represents a region or community. Folklore also gets importance from westerners who are att102_3906racted towards exploring traditional arts.

He explained the various regional folk arts of Kerala. In Northern Kerala ‘Thottam’, is performed before starting ‘Theyyam’. In Ernakulam, Pulaya community has its traditional custo102_3916ms and in Trissur, Paraya community performs ‘Vaatamudi theyyam’. In southern parts of Kerala this is known as 18 ‘adhikal’.  Folk song is used for representing different activities.  It is used to reduce workload, to preserve our culture, tradition, custom related to agriculture and our daily life routine. People use this for recreation also. Each song communicates some messages to the people.

The activities of the day

The inaugural function started at 10.25 am. The function began with the prayer. Miss. Jasmin R Perera deliverd the welcome speech and Mr. Ranjith K, (Lecturer/ Workshop Coordinator) gave the programme guidelines. He told that this workshop helps to analyze how the 102_3925popular culture is neglected in the society. He added that our visual sensibility is corrupted. He made a brief explanation of the coming days programmes. He said that we need to identify local sources to mobilize community. Dr. Gopinathan Pillai, (Principal Amrita School of Arts and Science) inaugurated the function by lighting the lamp. In the inaugural address, Principal said that lecturing is the most disastrous form of communication when it becomes monologue alone. He added that the folklore culture should be explored especially by social workers who are involved closely with people. After the inaugural address, Mr. Prasanth, Resource person delivered the key note address. Dr. Renjith R Pillai, (Chairperson of Dpt. of Social Work) felicitated the even102_3926t by saying that we should know the application of theory in the field . He also mentioned that the output of the workshop should be integrated to develop an informative document of that community. Mr. Girish said that we have to identify the best possible resources to mobilize the community. Mr.Rajeev M M, (Vice Chair person, Dpt. of Social Work) named the activities in the workshop as “Field Practical Festival” i.e. FPF. Mr. V.S.Kochukrishna Kurup said in his felicitation that communication is very important in the community and as a professional social worker we should be careful with what tool we use to communicate and to whom we are going to communicate. Miss. Anitha one of the student coordinators delivered the vote of thanks.

After the inaugural session students introduced themselves. Mr. Prasanth listed out certain traditional instruments commonly used in 102_3910folklore like Maram ( an instrument used by the Paraya community). It varies from community to community. The session came to an end at 3 pm. Praveen, one of the student coordinators of the workshop delivered the vote of thanks. Mr. Ranjith K and Ms. Veena Suresh presented memento to Mr. Prasanth and Mr. Girish as a token of love.

After this session Mr. Kochu Krishna Kurup discussed three more tools used in PLA (Participatory Learning and Action) namely Venn Diagrams, Mobility map and Wealth Map. Venn diagram was understood through a small activity where students divided into 6 groups and tried to make a Venn diagram of their community.

Report by: Shilpa VR

Edited by: Parvathy V

Photos by: Bibin S Babu



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