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Meet Sitaram Tudu, A Tribal Folk Singer With A Dream To Preserve His Culture

“It is songs that carry the weight of tribal histories and culture and if singing these songs holds that much strength, then I cannot and must not quit music,” said Sitaram Tudu, a musician from Jharkhand.

Music is an integral part of any tribal culture, it puts into lyric and rhythm the essence of the culture and day to day lives of the tribals. Living in Jharkhand, I have the honour of knowing many folk musicians who inspire us with their talent and creativity. One such musician is Sitaram Tudu.

Sitaram Tudu is a musician from the Santhal Adivasi community who has been enthusiastically practising, singing, and composing songs from the young age of 10. He can sing songs in many languages, including Ho, Bengali and Oriya. He hails from a farmer’s family from the village of Rohinibera in Jharkhand.

Like his father, he is also engaged in farming, but along with that, he is a passionate tribal folk singer. He also composes his own songs and plays the piano, tribal violin and flute. He sings both Santhali and Ho Munda songs. His songs mostly depict the tribal culture and he aims to promote Adivasi languages through his songs. He believes that music has no boundaries and isn’t limited by language and wishes to focus on enhancing his singing skills rather than seeking a government job or any kind of a private job.

Inspiration To Turn To Singing

Though Adivasi talent and potential is not usually recognised and broadcasted on mainstream platforms, Adivasi communities are culturally very rich, as they have been from the very beginning. There are folk songs for every occasion, from birth, through various stages of life, for marriages, for every cultural practice, for every festival they celebrate, even during the difficult times in life, there are songs even for death. Growing up in such a community is an inspiration in itself. Sitaram also admits that his inspiration came from his home, his community. Every tribal is an amazing artist, unfortunately, a lot of them have few avenues to express their talent and don’t possess the resources to do so. This rids of the world of the brilliant, creative minds that have so much to offer to it. Sitaram and the young boys and girls from his community used to sing songs in a group and often performed during festivals and organised stage programs. Recognition at a village level mattered to Sitaram, because appreciation from the villagers encouraged him to follow his dream.

Sitaram’s Achievements In Music

Sitaram has been a student of a very prominent Santhali folk singer and author, Durga Prasad Murmu from Jharkhand.

He has performed at many concerts and many singing competitions and has won several awards. In his region, he always wins the first prize! His recent original composition Marang Hili sung by him was performed in a LIVE concert by Adivasi Lives Matter and Youth Ki Awaaz and it was a super hit!

Listen to Sitaram’s original composition Marang Hili and learn its meaning here:

“I want my songs to be sung by the future tribal generations”, said musician Sitaram Tudu.

This article was first published in Youth Ki Awaaz


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