People And Culture
The languages in Purbi Singhbhum mostly come from three distinct stocks. One is the Munda family of languages which includes Ho, Mundari. Santhali, Mahili, Bhumij and Kharia. The other is the Dravidian family of languages which includes Oraon, Telugu, Tamil and Gondi. The rest are of the Indo-Aryan stock which includes Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Oriya, Gujrati, Nepali, Marwari, Punjabi, etc. On account of the cosmopolitan character of the Urban population of Jamshedpur and the other industrial concerns distributed over the district there is a sprinkling of people speaking some of the European languages.
These are sung by women while working in the field at the time of transplantation of paddy and at the time of harvesting. The theme of the songs relates generally to love or to some incident of the past. These are sweet and melodious.
Folk Literature and Songs
The folk literature and songs among the Adibasis have been preserved from generation to genration by repetition even in the absence of the written script. The non-Advibasi folk literature and songs have been carried to singhbhum either from other parts of Bihar or Orissa. Cinema songs have not gained that popularit which they have got in the other parts of Bihar. Cinema songs are confined to the towns and at the moment there is not much danger of the old folk songs being supplanted by the cinema songs.
Witchcraft among the Adibasis has naturally affected the various castes that live in the same village of the Adibasis. Non-Adibasis also report to the Sokhas or witch-doctor for the cure of some illness, if any misfortune has to avoided.
Different income-groups of people in the urban areas have a somewhat different type of daily life. But life in the rural areas is of more or less the same pattern for all classes. Generally the laborers as well as the middle class people, who have to work either in the field of others or in their own fields rise early in the morning and take some food cooked over night which is called Pakhala or Basia. Among this section of people mid-day meals usually consists of cooked rice and spinach (sag) or some vegetables or dal. They come back home in the evening and after a wash take their principal meal and retire. This meal is also of the same type and is usually taken quite early and by 8 PM or so the family income by working in the house of some rich neighbor and they would keep themselves busy in doing household work, such as cooking, washing of clothes, looking after the children or doing a little marketing. Such womenfolk may also have to scrape grass or pluck fruits or twigs for their cattle, which is to be done in the day.