Punjab Research Group

Who Killed Jugni? Shiraz Hassan

Posted in Articles by Pippa on September 19, 2014

It was many summers ago. I was visiting my village on the banks of the Jhelum. I saw the people of my village go towards the Eidgah, across the chappaD, or the pond. When I asked my grandfather about them, he said. “Ajj mela ay putter!” [Son, today is a fair!] The mela ground was bustling with makeshift shops and people thronging them. At one end of the mela a circus had come up. The mithai stalls were packed with customers and curious on-lookers, some of them were buying and eating. And that’s when I heard the sound of their music. There they were, surrounded by a circle of spectators. A couple of local artists sang a song I had not heard before. I couldn’t understand a word, other than ‘O mereya Jugni, O mereya Jugni’ – which they chorused, over and over again.

That was my introduction to Jugni. I had no idea who Jugni was, and for I long time I didn’t care.

Jugni returned to my life years later, making an entry in a different way. On a satellite TV channel, in a dimly lit studio, equipped heavily with musical instruments and a pungent smell of glamour. Arif Lohar was singing Jugni for Coke Studio and giving him company was Meesha Shafi!

This time, I wanted to know Jugni. Was it a character from a story? A glow-worm? Or something else?

‘Jugni’ is a Punjabi folk song, popular not only in the Punjab but also among the regional languages of Rajputana, Sindh and Hyderabad [1]. But Jugni has also been said to be a kind of jewel, an attractive ornament worn around the neck, a little like the ‘taweetri’. Worn alike by men and women, Jugni the ornament is usually made of gold or silver. The wooden jugni is also used as decorative jewellery for cows and buffaloes. This cow-Jugni is known as ‘gaani’. Along with other neck jewellery like necklaces, lockets, maalas, gaani, taweet or tweetri, Jugni is a hot favorite item of fashion among rural girls and boys.

Read full article: http://kafila.org/2011/05/07/who-killed-jugni-shiraz-hassan/

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