Durga Puja and Jatra

Popular folk theatre of Bengal is somehow related with Durga Puja. The Jatra companies session starts after the Rath Yatra and they start performing from Durga Puja.

Brief history about Jatra in Durga Puja

Jatra is popular in Bengal, Assam, Tripura and is performed on a stage with all the sides open. Normally themes of Jatra are historical, religious and current social events. Major Jatra companies offices are located at Chitpur of Kolkata. The activity of the offices increases during the Durga Puja as from this time Jatra season starts. Jatra performances are little bit loud and full of melodrama. Previously the female characters were played by male artists but now female artists are performing on female characters. Many Durga Puja organizers and famous Zaminder bari and Jaj Bari Durga Puja of North Kolkata arrange for Jatra show during Puja days. These moving theatre groups starts performing from Durga Puja and their season ends at the end of winter. The artists normally work on contract basis.

Jatra celebration in Durga Puja

Jatra have some typical styles. Actor and actress uses high make up. Typical musical tones are played by musicians. The dialogues, songs, dress of artists every thing in Jatra are totally different from other form of entertainment. In village areas it is called 'Pala Gaan' also. During the season a Jatra team perform even in two different locations. This art is still very much popular in villages of Bengal, Tripura.

Present situation of Jatra celebration

The taste of people has changed a lot. Now a days Jatra is not so much popular in urban areas. Existence of Jatra is under threat as people are more interested in television shows. A large number of artists are engaged with this industry. Many famous Jatra companies of yesteryears are closed. Once this industry had legend Jatra artists like Swapan Kumar, Shanti Gopal, Bina Das Gupta. Some veteran filmy artists from both Bollywood and Tollywood enroll with different Jatra companies every year. Jatra company owners are paying more and more to the filmy artists with a hope that they would inject oxygen to the industry. The filmy artists are simply earning money from Jatra companies, the Jatra companies are getting no benefit from them.

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