By Kenny Jyrwa
Shillong, Nov 24: Meghalaya – the abode of clouds – is not only blessed with scenic beauty and landscapes but a plethora of talented musicians and music lovers alike be it Rock and Roll, Heavy Metal, Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae or traditional.
Yes, music may be a religion to some but to some it’s merely a hobby and to the parents (Khasi parents) it’s always a waste of time or just something one should do during their leisure hour, “Khreh bha da ka kot khun, ban ia long briew man briew”, but that’s all a thing of the past. Now, musicians can not only make a living but gain name and fame and even get scholarships.
Finest example is Amabel Susngi, a singer, music teacher and a Phd student who has recently been awarded the prestigious Samvaad Fellowship by the Tata Steel Foundation at Jamshedpur.
Speaking to Hub News just after days of receiving the Prestigious Fellowship, Amabel said, “Samvaad fellowship provides financial support for fellows to showcase or revive the richness of our culture through social action initiative or research proposal to work on cultural aspects concerning our tribal community, encouraging community based action research and tribal culture and heritage which are aligned towards conservation of any indigenous practice, from tribal culture, particularly on language, art, rituals and customs which are vulnerable to being lost and which adversely impact the unique identity of the community.”
Amabel, the vocalist of 4th Element, was among the 8 application who have been awarded with this prestigious fellowship.
“We were told that there were 84 applicants who applied for the fellowship this year and 17 of us were shortlisted for the final presentation and interview and from them 8 were awarded the prestigious Samvaad Fellowship for the year 2021…. I am glad I am one of them,” said Amabel.
She shared that she sang “Oi oi khon”, a Jaiñtia folk song, during the presentation which melted the hearts of the jury. “This song talks about how a mother tries to lull her child to sleep by singing about the moon and the stars telling the child that there will be a guardian. The song also speaks that the mother is the protector of the child, telling the child not to be frightened about anything in this whole wide world because the future awaits for the child and telling the child to go to sleep, so that the child will grow faster and we’ll get to experience the future” further explained Susngi about the meaning of the song.
“Think about what you want to do for your society, to work on cultural aspects concerning your tribal community,” added Amabel in her advice to artists from the State who plan to apply for the fellowship next year since Tata Steel Foundation calls for applications every year.