Public used to get enlightened through ‘burra kathas’, street plays and puppet shows earlier

The traditional arts, which were liked by all in the families once, are getting replaced by social media, internet and flash mobs. The tradition has changed from one generation to the other and children are going through textbooks to know about our culture now.

The village and community heads used to organise ‘burra kathas’, street plays, puppet shows (Tholubommalata) and ‘janapada nrutyams’ (folk dances) to enlighten the people against superstitions, social evils, gender discrimination, literacy, health hazards and ill effects of alcohol consumption, but, the ancient art forms appear to be getting shadowed by western culture.

Now flash mobs (a group of people gathers suddenly in a public place, perform a show for a few minutes and dissolves into the crowd) replaced ‘burra kathas’ and ‘puppet shows’ and students are seen dancing on the roads for one or other reason.

A small group of youth confused the passers-by suddenly dancing for a song on M.G. Road, which disappeared into the public within a few minutes on Independence Day here.

The public later realised that the youth tried to highlight the ‘Samaikyandhra’ demand by performing a feat called ‘flash mob’. For the first time, flash mob, a western show was presented in Vijayawada, said the onlookers.

“We used to enjoy ‘burraka kathas’, mythological plays and ‘puppet shows’ and during festivals and celebrations in towns and villages. Now, the culture has vanished and the younger generation is ignorant about it, which is very sad”, said a teacher P. Durga Prasad.

“There is nothing wrong in inviting western culture, but we should not forget our own traditions. We have to protect our culture too. Many youngsters are attracted to western food habits, garments and the lifestyles,” opined a student V. Siddhartha.

“Puppet shows have completely vanished. The ‘burra katha’ and folk artistes migrated to urban areas in search of livelihood, while some artistes are moving around Government offices for pensions. Government should take some more measures to protect the arts, which are big assets for our great culture”, said a mythological artiste Narasimham.

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