Folk Theatres, Oral Poetry and Cultural Artifacts along the Border Regions of North Bengal


  • Meeraz Hoque Research Scholar, Department of English, Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University, West Bengal.



Memory, Border, Relocation, Theatre, Performance.


Contested border regions often become “memory landscapes” with monuments, historical sites, and cultural artefacts; they become sacred spaces for national or ethnic memory. In some cases, border regions can take on a dramatic theatrical character in which specific national interpretations of past conflict and the culpability of the other side are carefully staged. This is particularly the case of Cooch Behar district. Martyrs from past conflicts are “reanimated”, at appropriate times for the strategy of social mobilization. Such changing cultural expressions can be traced to the growth and evolution of the indigenous art forms of Cooch Behar. The successive waves of migration and a shift in the demographic in the later decades of the last century have resulted in the emergence of a very syncretic cultural scene, one that is informed by both migrant narratives, while paying due diligence to the indigenous roots of the art forms. This chapter aims to evaluate orality not as a static medium but as one that is subject to constant change resulting in cultural transition. This paper highlights the history of border planning and population division in the region of North Bengal is fraught with religious tension, transition from a principality to a constituting state in the case of Cooch Behar and an overarching sense of loss that is prevalent across the whole region of North Bengal. Midnight’s borders that were arbitrarily drawn in Undivided Punjab and Bengal in 1947 had wreaked havoc in the lives of people occupying the border adjacent districts, an impact that can still be felt in the mnemocultural productions of these districts.


Works Cited:

Ghoshal, Anindita. Refugees, Borders and Identities. Routledge, London, 2020, Print.

Hirsch, Marianne The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, 2012, Print.

Sarkar, Kamolesh. Rajbanshi Lokkabitar Andarmahal. Kolkata: Shambhabi, 2018. Print.

Sengupta, Nitish. Bengal Divided: The Unmaking of a Nation 1905-1971. Penguin, Delhi, Print.

Sevastinov,V,Sergei. Laine, P, Jussi, Kireev, A, Anton, Introduction to Border Studies. Vladivostok: Far Eastern Federal University, 2015. Print.

Vijayan , Suchitra. Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of India. Context Books. 2021.




How to Cite

Meeraz Hoque , translator. “Folk Theatres, Oral Poetry and Cultural Artifacts Along the Border Regions of North Bengal”. Creative Saplings, vol. 3, no. 4, Apr. 2024, pp. 34-45,

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