Interview and Essay on Qawwali's

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  • Topic: Qawwali, Sufism, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
  • Pages : 8 (3104 words )
  • Download(s) : 430
  • Published : December 15, 2005
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In modern society, diversity among people is an admired quality, which many feel strengthens all of humanity. Diversity in today's world is a result of many cultures coming together to share and celebrate their various backgrounds. Music is one of the largest facets of culture worldwide, and therefore is an essential part of each individual person's culture no matter where they are from. For the purpose of this assignment, I chose to interview a very close family friend, Mr. Asif Rawjani. In order to understand the role that music has played in his life so far, it is important to first attempt to grasp an understanding of his cultural background as well as his life experiences with music. This includes both his musical memories and the role that said music played in his life. It is also very important to remember to put these experiences into a broader cultural and historical context when attempting to understand the reason that Mr. Rawjani listens to a particular type of music, namely a type of ghazal called the qawwali, and how this relates back to his culture as well as to his life experiences. Qawwali's are a very small portion of the entire worlds music scene and are regarded at most times to be religious music, for this reason, many people do not know specific details about this type of music and what it symbolizes. While researching for this assignment, I often found that documents failed to include proper examples of qawwali performers and this proved rather exhausting when searching for examples of music, as it is habitually easier to write about an event or an occurrence, which one has experienced oneself. Fortunately, Mr. Rawjani was very forthcoming with detailed information regarding his experiences with music, as well as providing comprehensive answers to various questions pertaining to his background, in addition to providing me with some examples of qawwalis, which made writing this essay quite an enjoyable and enlightening experience. Mr. Rawjani can trace his lineage back to the town of Jamnagar, in the state of Gujarat, India and was born in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, in East Africa and moved to Canada at the age of twenty-three, he has also traveled the world extensively. He has lived in different parts of the Middle East for seven out of the last ten years with his family and has lived in Canada for the other three years. Throughout this time, Mr. Rawjani insists that he has exposed himself to an assortment of world music, but still feels a strong affinity to qawwali's. Mr. Rawjani comes from a fairly modern Muslim family and he insists that this, combined with his geographical, historical and cultural background has played a large role in shaping his musical tastes. He was born in nineteen fifty-seven, a mere ten years after India gained its independence from Britain, at that time, his father and grandfather immigrated to East Africa in pursuit of a better life as well as to escape the turmoil and bloodshed in India at the time. These atrocities were a consequence of the partition between India and Pakistan, which resulted in a grave amount of religious hatred and intolerance {Gooptu}. Mr. Rawjani grew up in a world, which was just recovering from the turmoil of the partition between India and Pakistan, and his family, community, culture and world at large were all affected by it. In order to accurately comprehend the intensity of the partition and all the harm that it caused, and also to understand the reason for many peoples anger and hatred it is imperative that one look at the partition through the experiences of someone who understands the finer points of it and is able to articulate them in a scholarly format. As I did not know many details about the Indo-Pakistani partition, and since it seemed to affect every aspect of Mr. Rawjani's life and therefore choices in music, I asked him many questions, as I simply did not understand the gravity of the situation. He directed my attention to the fact...
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