Gender Roles In Ramnagar

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Staging Gender in Ramlila of Ramnagar Anita Singh Ramlila (literally “Rama’s play”) is a popular living traditional performance based on the epic Ramayana. The Ramayana (despite the definite article) is not a ‘single book but a story and a tradition of storytelling’ (Lutgendorf, The Oral Tradition and the Many ‘Ramayanas’). The Ramayaṇa and its performance practice Ramlila have been popular for almost two epochs and can be seen as elements in the continuing formation of cultures across the vast ethnically, culturally, linguistically, politically, religiously and geographically diverse continent of south Asia. Although the primary tale of the tribulations of Rama and Sita remain quite the same in most tellings, bards and storytellers have inserted their own perception in their…show more content…
What role models do they look up to while learning to perform these roles? • How does such sacred role-playing affect their everyday life? • Do cross gender role-playing impact on their lives? • Was Rama right in doing what he did? Privileging the kingdoms interest over the interest of his family/wife. • What are their views about other female/male characters in Ramlila? The documentation of such practices has become increasingly relevant for the people and countries concerned and is often understood, as acknowledgement of their cultural heritage, and it is also often a source of proliferation of cultural and gender stereotypes and for the vast number of people in North India it serves as a sort of ‘sentimental education’ (Marwah, 2006, 5). My aim then is to present the audience members and performers with interpretative questions about the gender performances on stage. So I will engage with the notion of performativity or the being performed by gender discourses and how the performance of gender roles variously conforms to or challenges this pressure towards the
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