Safeguard the oral traditions of India by co-producing a film

Why are we fundraising?

To produce a film - 'Janeu | Bhojpuri Initiation Rites & Folk Songs', and take it back to the community.

About the film
While rituals in India are majorly seen as men's job, not many know that women hold an equally important role in the purification rituals – of expressing the emotions that develop during the ritual through songs. The film documents the folk songs sung during the initiation ritual (Janeu or Upanayana) in the Bhadwar village of Bihar. The rite of passage leads the person being initiated to take the first step towards the path of devotion: the essence of the wisdom of the Vedas.

The film is a part of a project for safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India through the practice of visual anthropology.

Redefining how to safeguard the ICH of India
It is only recently that the world has started to consider the fading Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) as an issue. In 2003, UNESCO launched a convention for the safeguarding of the ICH.

When we talk about safeguarding of the cultural practices and expressions of India, it is understood that there are different ways and means of doing so. We believe that safeguarding is not just about documenting the ICH and building inventories or archives, but it also carries a responsibility to sensibly present this content and disseminate it. It is with this understanding that Espírito Kashi was founded in Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India. We devote an equal amount of energy on aspects such as research and presentation. Our films are aesthetically-rich and ethnographic in nature, aimed at making a viewer participate in the cultural practices and thereby, increasing cultural sensitivity. Further, we use new media technologies to disseminate the films at different platforms – online as well as offline through film screenings in both urban and rural settings.  

What do we plan to do with the funds?

The film has already been shot using a limited budget, it is now in the post-production stage. Further, we wish to disseminate the film at different platforms, especially within the community from where it originated. The funds we raise through this campaign will be utilized in the following manner:

  • Post-production - 50%
  • Dissemination - 50%



1. What would a contributor get in return? 
For those contributing INR 500 / USD 10 or more 
You are entitled for a FREE HERITAGE WALK with us in Varanasi, whenever you visit the world's oldest living city. Read more about our unique, tips-only walks here.

For those contributing INR 1000 / USD 20 or more
In addition to a free heritage walk, you will receive a DOWNLOADABLE VERSION of 'Chidiya', a collection of folk tunes from the Ganges and Jamuna river valley, played by Dr. Vijay Choubey on violin. You can listen to the tunes here.

For those contributing INR 3000 / USD 50 or more
You become a CO-PRODUCER of the film with due credits.

2. Which are the other films that Espírito Kashi has produced?
Following are some of our recent productions:
  • Crossing a River, Losing a Self:  Retelling of an ancient folktale from India (Fiction) - YouTube  
  • Jakari: Life Songs of Haryanvi Women (Documentary) - YouTube
  • Vivah Samskara: Bhojpuri Wedding Rites & Folk Songs (Documentary) - YouTube
For more content on the ICH of India, visit our website

4. Is Espírito Kashi a registered organization? 
Yes. We are registered under the Indian Trusts Act 1882.
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13th November 2016
Dear Supporter,

We went to Bhadwar village in Buxar, Bihar and conducted multiple film screening of Janeu and Vivah Samskara at the residence of Dr. Ram Narayan Tiwari. Separate spaces and screenings for men and women. Something like this had never happened before – when they saw themselves performing their cultural practice on a big screen. Post film, a lot of suggestions and appreciation followed. Interestingly, some had doubts about the sequence of the rites and folk songs – even though we had edited the film in a linear sequence. It shows us that there is no real authentic folklore, it demands by itself to constantly change and the process of the practice could be different for people within the same community. This led to some nice discussion. Women complained about the absence of Jevnaar folk songs in the Vivah Samskara film. The song they sang when the in-laws were seated for their meals. Later, they sang a beautiful Jevnaar song for us.

What a beautiful experience to engage the rural community through their own folklore using new media technologies. Most importantly, a step towards instilling critical thinking ability in the rural youth.

Thank you all for your wonderful support !

You can watch the process of screening in this video:

Learn more about the initiative

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raised of Rs.40,000 goal

9 Supporters

Beneficiary: Espírito Kashi info_outline

Supporters (9)

ashutosh donated Rs.4,000
over 2 years ago


Abhinand donated US $200
over 2 years ago
Mohneet donated US $50
over 2 years ago
Rajat donated Rs.2,000
over 2 years ago
Anonymous donated US $25
over 2 years ago
Suneet donated Rs.10,000
over 2 years ago