The School of Comparative Tribal Languages and Literatures and Sahitya Akademi jointly organized a Symposium on Religious Concept as Reflected in Santali Songs on January 17, 2024. The event commenced with the inauguration of a Wall Magazine by the Chief Guests and senior functionaries of the university. Dr Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar while setting the tone of the symposium reiterated Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Hon’ble Founder KISS & KISS’s dream of collectively working to protect, promote and preserve indigenous languages and culture which KISS has been pursuing since its inception. He also shared the vision of the development of Santali language and its culture.
Mr. K. Sreenivasarao, Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, extended a warm welcome to the delegates and guests present. He emphasized that Traditional Santali songs serve as poignant conduits for the expression of religious concepts within the community. Imbued with the spirit of animism and reverence for ancestors, these songs narrate stories of creation, cycles of life, and the sacred interplay between the physical and metaphysical realms. The melodic verses encapsulate a profound spiritual connection, offering a unique glimpse into the intricacies of Santali religious thought and the enduring traditions that bind their cultural fabric. Mr. Chaitanya Prasad Majhi, Convener, Santali Advisory Board, introduced the event. The inauguration session was chaired by Mr. Gangadhar Hansdah, an Eminent Santali Writer, who addressed the gathering. Further, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice Chancellor, KISS Deemed to be University, also shared his thoughts on the significance of the symposium. He suggested the Santali Writers present in the symposium to translate the Santali Songs and publish them in different languages so that the beauty of the songs written in Santali can be disseminated. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Naku Hansdah, Member, Santali Advisory Board. He said that Santali songs, rooted in the rich cultural tapestry of the Santal community, vividly reflect their religious concepts. Through rhythmic melodies and poetic verses, these songs celebrate the symbiotic relationship between the Santals and nature, embodying spiritual beliefs, rituals, and a deep reverence for the divine forces that shape their worldview. The lyrical expressions encapsulate the essence of Santali spirituality, offering a captivating insight into their religious fervour and cultural identity. Kadey Soren, Deputy Director (Academics), KISS concluded the inaugural session by offering the Vote of Thanks.