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Happy Mukherjee

Updated: Jul 27, 2021


📍West Bengal পশ্চিমবঙ্গ





- What is a Bohurupi? After doing some research, I learned that it is a dying folk performance art that was one of the primary rural entertainment In Bengal.

Bohurupi means to imitate a different kinds of forms that make a man of special character. Practitioners of this art have for generations earned modest amounts from their performances…

But only because the audience prefers more of a modern type of entertainment these days, younger Bohurupi are being forced out. There is less and less interest in their shows, and sadly the artists have to choose other skills to make their living.

So what happens during this performance? Bahurupi refers to one who can take many forms, termed the "chameleon art", or"the one with different faces”. In the course of the narrative, dance to music and songs replete with dramatic twists and turns. It is performed by an actor who entertains people by assuming different roles and enacting their peculiarities, manners, and mode of speech.

The main actor needs to be a quick-change artist, who is versatile and capable of speaking in different languages, and sometimes is assisted by others. Men and women.

Some of the performers make their lives mission to keep the tradition. And even though they work unless hours, it is becoming more challenging to maintain their lifestyle. With prices rising on everything, including the costumes and jewelry, many can not afford to continue this tradition. So they look for something else to do to earn a living, while fewer performers struggle to keep going.

✐ Nataly Rader

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