A video of a few members from the Badaga tribe in the Nilgiris standing on the roadside and dancing in their traditional attire and face masks, has gone viral on social media since Saturday. While the men wore white mundu and shirt, the women wore mundu and a cloth tied around their chests. They also wore white turbans, which is part of their traditional attire. While the people from the Baduga tribe dancing to upbeat folk music is not new, this time, it is the face masks that they responsibly wore during the pandemic, that have earned the admiration of many on social media.
The video clip, shared by IAS officer Supriya Sahu on Twitter, showed the men and women dancing to music blaring through the speakers.
“Nothing can beat the indomitable human spirit and certainly not a virus. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this group of small tea farmers performing an impromptu traditional ‘Badaga’ dance’ dressed in their trademark white attire and yes .. Masks,” tweeted Supriya, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Tamil Nadu Tea Federation and is stationed at Ooty. She is also the state’s monitoring officer in Ooty.
The Badagas are a tribe living in around 400 villages called the ‘hattis’ across the Nilgiris. They speak a language called the ‘Badugu’, which is said to be closely related to Kannada.
Superb! Bought a big smile on my face.— Kunal Kapoor (@kapoorkkunal) September 12, 2020
Still following their traditional dress and dance .....etc .Suprub. ...— srinivasan sujatha (@sujisri2680) September 12, 2020
Supriya Sahu, who has earlier headed Doordarshan, is known for sharing inspiring videos from the Nilgiris on social media. She was also the co-Vice President of the Asian Broadcasting Union. Her video about postman Sivan, who trekked for around 15 kilometres every day through jungles to deliver mail to those living amidst the hills, had also gone viral earlier.
Many parts of the Nilgiris were recently affected by the floods and landslides, which also ended up damaging houses and settlements. As of Saturday, the Nilgiris has 509 active cases of COVID-19 and has reported 17 deaths so far. On Saturday, the district recorded 61 new COVID-19 patients and one death.
Watch the dance video here: