Latest News on Veena Talwar Oldenburg
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Jun 09, 2019
Tawaifs and tehzeeb: Notes from a symposium on courtesans' contributions to art, freedom struggleThough pop culture and notions of Victorian morality led many to think of them as the 'other woman' or women of 'low character' who broke up marriages and enticed men, the story of the tawaifs is far different – and much more complex. They were artists of high calibre, who were expected to be trained in classical music and dance (Kathak); notably, they contributed immensely to the musical genres of the bandish and thumri. Though they were strictly non-combatants, they played a significant role in the struggle against the British by hiding weapons and rebels.