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India's jewel in the Arabian Sea

Last updated on: August 30, 2011 12:36 IST

India's jewel in the Arabian Sea


Muhammad Hamdullah Sayeed

In our special series on the India You Didn't Know, the youngest MP in Parliament hails a unique dance form from the pristine Minicoy island in Lakshadweep that has enthralled him again and again.

The diversity that we find in India is a unique aspect and is not prevalent in any other part of the globe. The traditional values that we inculcate in the vast diversity of our country is something that can be patented by India.

In the island of Minicoy, which is the southern-most among the islands of Lakshadweep, there is this fascinating dance that is performed to welcome the guests of honour. It is a unique dance performed by the locals, who are a linguistic minority, and I am yet to see any other dance form in India that matches it.

It is a very special dance performed by the menfolk of the island. The men display a wide range of colours while performing it. They wear multi-hued costumes and a traditional head-gear specially made for the dance. They also carry their drums and sing a song, which is unique to the art-form and dance to its tune.

I witnessed this dance for the first time a long time ago, when I had first gone to Minicoy island. Since then, whenever I visit, I make sure I witness it because the colours, vibrancy and the passion with which it is performed cannot be explained. It is something that has to be witnessed and cannot be expressed through words.

Muhammad Hamdullah Sayeed is the youngest MP in the current Parliament. He represents Lakshadweep in the Lok Sabha. Sayeed spoke to Sahim Salim.

Earlier in the series:

'You have to travel in India to know India'
'It is easy to belong and be accepted in India'
'There is an India we don't wish to know'
'The world has come to know India better'
'The credit is in India's roots and its stories'
'See the Ganga aarti at least once'
'They looked African but spoke Gujarati'
'Indians have a sense of humour'
'Hindu couple at an Islamic shrine shows what makes India work'

Image: Minicoy island at the southern-most tip of Lakshadweep