[Video] Geet-Gawai Enters UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List
Originally performed especially for wedding ceremonies by women, the Geet-Gawai, a living expression of the Bhojpuri Language and tradition, has been accepted in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List on Thursday, December 1.
Geet-Gawai, brought to Mauritius during the early settlement of indentured labourers, flourished in sugar estate environment (sugar camps) across the country. With the movements and resettlement of people from the sugar estates to towns and villages, Geet-Gawai became prominent all over the country.
Sharing roots with its Indian counterparts, Mauritian Geet-Gawai took its own path developing Mauritian flavour, architecture and rhythm. Like any other element, it still stands to benefit from other elements including its source.
Although the custodians and practitioners of the element are mostly found among the Bhojpuri-speaking settled across the country, the singing and dancing are widely known and appreciated by Mauritians since the 1970's with performers also coming from non-Bhojpuri speaking communities. Originally performed in the family it has spread to the wider Mauritian community.