Womens in Ballads : a comparative study of the Chittagong and Maymensingh gitikash
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Folklore is one of the most prominent elements in Bangladeshi culture. The tradition of folklore is an ancient but one of the richest creations in Bangladeshi culture. Folk literature plays a vital role in defining folklore, as it includes oral practice of marriage songs, songs regarding women's life, fairy tales, songs of justice, ballads etc. Since the middle ages women have played a significant role in observing social customs and rituals. Not only that, women used to compose songs on the basis of their daily affairs, physical attributes, suppressed feelings, blessings for new brides and family functions. They represent their own happinesses, sorrows, pains, sacrifices and agony through their songs. The research that I took part in aims to explore the projection of women characters in the some assigned ballads from Chittagong and Mymensingh districts. In this paper, I have made an attempt to glean the portrayal of women characters in terms of their biological differences, personal lives, sexual lives, family lives, standards of living, the struggle of upholding family and social values, the restrictions of observing women's rights within a patriarchal framework etc. The part of the research that I dealt with contained writings composed by men and it was interesting to see the portrayal of women from male writers' perspectives. In addition, I have applied feminist theories to analyze the themes of the Gitikas and point out the connection between feminism and the features of folklore.