TODAY -

Tha, Tha Thabungton: Reviewing a Lullaby

James Oinam *

Tha Tha Thabungton........ : A scene from 'Heyang Athouba' : Rhythm of Manipur's 3rd Opera Production at JN Manipur Dance Akademi, Imphal on 28th July 2013
Tha Tha Thabungton........ : A scene from 'Heyang Athouba' : Rhythm of Manipur's 3rd Opera Production at JN Manipur Dance Akademi, Imphal on 28th July 2013 :: Pix - Bullu Raj



It is not just in our gut feelings but also a few studies that have shown beneficial mental and physical health effects of lullaby. Lullaby has shown to decrease heartbeat of prematurely born babies, improve respiration, digestion, and not to mention sleep.

Even without all the utilitarian imperatives mentioned, I think it is valuable in itself for its beauty, as it is about living and not just surviving. In this article, I would like to take up a Manipuri lullaby called Tha, Tha Thabungton I came across on the YouTube (from Matamgi Manipur film, 1972).

The version—more than one version of this lullaby exists in Manipur - in this movie seems to have the main ingredients of a lullaby: short simple rhyming words, with 'silences' in between the words, for easy comprehension by a developing brain of a child. The central character in the song is the moon (tha). I wonder if 'thabungton' is shortened form for 'tha mapung maton' (moon-full-top, meaning full moon).

The lyrics are a bit archaic but overall idea is clear, and I will compare this lullaby with two other lullabies that I came across on the internet which also mention the moon. These are a German lullaby called 'The Moon Has Risen' and a Chinese lullaby called 'Northeastern Cradle Song'.

In all three of them, stillness and quietness are emphasized (Manipuri: 'Ngaanli chikna nongmadon' [Shining quietly in the sky]; German: 'The world in stillness clouded'; Chinese: 'The moon is bright, the wind is quiet'). This might have come from the necessity of tranquillity to fall asleep.

Interestingly enough, in all of them the trees/forests are also mentioned (Manipuri: 'Upaal waapaal sumkharey' [The trees and the bamboos are put to sleep]; German: 'The woods stand still in shadows'; Chinese: 'The tree leaves hang over the window'). This shows our connection with the forests or nature.

In the Chinese and Manipuri versions, the baby is wished to have sweet dreams (Chatlo chatlo mangleibaakta: Go, go to the dreamland). But the German version is complicated and philosophical (When from the earth You [God] take us//Let heaven's joy await us [clearly it is talking about death and the netherworld]).

Osho said, 'No one has gone to heaven or hell and come back. Then how do we know they exist?' On the other hand, most of us have been to the dream world. In the German version, going to sleep has been substituted by dying, and the dreamland by heaven.

One might ask, 'Is our conception of the netherworld (heaven and hell) born out of our perception of the dream world?' In the Christmas carol 'Silent Night', baby Jesus is asked to go to 'heavenly sleep' (Christmas carols are said to be sung like lullabies).

One thing that stands out in the Manipuri lullaby is the use of 'uirum, uirum' (sleepy, sleepy) in more than one place. I think this acts as a 'prodding'. (Mothers would make pee-ing sound (shh..) when they want the baby to pee before going to bed. The connection between mother and child can be quite intimate.

In Kangpokpi, Manipur, I have seen tribal mother chewing the food on behalf of the baby and then feeding mouth to mouth.)

In Manipur there is a saying, 'If you don't complete your story before you go to sleep, elephants will chase you in your dreams.' This belief acknowledges how our actions in our waking state influence our dream world. This is just like the belief that our actions while we are alive will determine where we'll go when we die.

Chingtamlen has pointed out that Meiteis used to sing a requiem at the time of death. The relatives of the dying person would ask the person to be born again to them in the song. Music is considered to be one of most difficult to define art forms, and one that is closest to god. There is no need for an average mother to panic.

The simplest form of 'lullaby' I have seen in Manipur is tapping the baby on the chest or back gently with the hands while making a humming sound (Hmm..).

References

o YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1tzw9EnSjA
o http://sanatombi-angomcha.blogspot.in/2011/07/tha-tha-thabungton-lyrics.html
o The Moon Has Risen lyrics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Mond_ist_aufgegangen
o Northeastern Cradle Song: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeastern_Cradle_Song


* James Oinam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT0com
This article was posted on June 17, 2017.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Great June Uprising #3 :: Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • Nengvah, Krehe, Achoubi :: eMing
  • On Probable Origin of Letter Atiya
  • 181, Cyber Crime ; How about Zero FIR?
  • Shree Shree Govindajee Temple :: 360 °
  • Manipur U-19 Teams victorious at 'Oorja'
  • Remove Army Camp from MU Campus
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • MU VC neglecting academics : MUSU
  • 100 days of BJP led Govt
  • AFSPA - a push to arms?
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Imphal #1 :: Gallery
  • 15th Mega Miss North East :: Gallery
  • Cyclist have Rights on the roads
  • International Day Against Drug Abuse
  • Mary Khyriem is Mega Miss North East
  • Felicitation of Thangjam Guneshwar
  • Corruption of lairik-laisu
  • Approaches towards NE development
  • Jobs at Thangjam Agro (Likla)
  • Militarising a place of learning : AR in MU
  • ..Liangmais to withdraw from Zeliangrong
  • Scientist Thangjam felicitated
  • Idd-ul-Fitre celebrated in NE
  • Konung Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Suman Ningthoujam is Mega Mister NE
  • Kang Chingba (Rath-yatra)
  • Baptism of pugilist Sarita Devi..
  • President of India from Manipur, when?
  • Conditions leading to birth of Marxism
  • Meeting on oil Exploration at Tupul
  • Condoles death of Palal Haokip
  • Diabetes Detection - Medical Camp
  • Dzukuo: SAYO refutes Mao CSO allegation
  • Cong to Delhi: Lift lid on Naga pact
  • Manipur man to contest presidential poll
  • Three Mothers Art Gallery :: Gallery
  • U 14 Subroto Football :: Gallery
  • Environment Day: Loktak Ema Laments
  • Khangchiu/Liuchiu: Liangmai institution #2
  • Value based education in schools
  • Yoga and dress
  • Bengal Govt repressing Gorkha people
  • Media appeals management to obey..
  • Recreation- a Serious Business
  • Reintroducing MST bus service
  • Subhadra chhuri huranba :: Funga Wari
  • Kanglei Haraoba Festival #3 :: Gallery
  • Angkor Wat - Cambodia #6 :: Gallery
  • Traffic Jam gigs on home ground
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba #6 :: 360 ° View
  • Preserving Macha Ebemma Khudithibi area
  • Life in some hill villages
  • Paramedical Courses Admissions
  • NPF responds to Congress diatribe
  • Surrogate teachers
  • Great June Uprising #2 :: Gallery
  • Road Condition @Senapati :: Gallery
  • School on Phum: Innovative Learning Place
  • Sketches of the Countryside :: Poem
  • Why MBA in Business Analytics ?
  • Grand finale of Mega Miss North East
  • Rehabilitation of Villagers affected by Mora
  • Making NFSA meaningful: Life into MSFC
  • Expecting some appreciable act
  • Earth crack at Kangpokpi #2 :: Gallery
  • Yoga Day @Khuman Lampak :: Gallery
  • Finance Capitalism & the Naga Question
  • Alumni 1998 Batch Ki Ningai
  • Manipur Univ's CMS awarded 4.5 out of 5
  • Legal Training for Justice Workers
  • Career Counselling for Bishnupur students
  • International Yoga Day
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Noting the SOS from the DC of Kpi
  • For that little bit more
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Landscape of Kangpokpi :: Gallery
  • Yeningthagi Wari Kumhei :: Gallery
  • Beyond beef eating
  • World Father's Day :: Poem
  • Bereavement of Khaplang & can of worms
  • Union HRD Prakash Javadekar at Imphal
  • Jobs at basicP, Singjamei
  • Job at Escent Diagnostics, Imphal
  • Treating patients with a human touch
  • Deliberate mistakes
  • Yu Thongba by Loi of Awang Sekmai #2
  • Junior Girls District Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Dialysis Programme @JNIMS :: Gallery
  • Pukhri Macha at Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • Khangchiu/Liuchiu: Liangmai institution #1
  • Mass awareness on congress grass
  • Shut down in hills, Unity Day in valley
  • Sever pol ties: Where does this leave NPF ?
  • June in Manipur
  • June 18 effect
  • Great June Uprising #1 :: Gallery
  • The Great June Uprising 2001 :: Photos
  • Stalls @Barak (spring) Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Farmers: Occupation or a Game?
  • Food, nay tobacco, for thought
  • Paris climate agreement & India's role
  • The day to pay tribute to our own father
  • Annual Iftar Gathering at Konthagram Masjid
  • Compositeness of settlers of Manipur #3
  • The Great June 18 Uprising :: Tribute
  • Flooding at Kangpokpi :: Gallery
  • Robert Naorem collections at Milan Walk
  • Peace in post-Khaplang North-East
  • My Manipur: A tryst with ground reality
  • Ignoring the parallel Government
  • Call to IM leadership to wake up
  • Talk offer from Naga outfit: Delhi should..
  • Regulating private schools
  • Arbind Soibam (Singer) :: Erang Photos
  • Tha, Tha Thabungton: Reviewing a Lullaby
  • No More WW2 Bridge at Heingang
  • Women in Khasi & Jaintia society
  • My Song :: Poem
  • Mind boggling job interviews
  • Researchers from Kerala & Maharashtra..
  • Ripe opportunity for awareness & action
  • Flood in Imphal- June 14 :: Gallery
  • Dr. Asha Sougaijam, short stories winner
  • Wari Jalsa : storytelling series at Delhi
  • 6th Thang-Ta Federation Cup at Agra
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba #5 :: 360 ° View
  • Know your test: Electrolytes
  • Signal to climate change: Rise of methane
  • Chance to win guided tour to NASA : IIT Ghy
  • Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sammelan
  • Mr. CM, it should be Rivers in Imphal...
  • Yu Thongba by Loi of Awang Sekmai #1
  • Yaipan, wild flower @Ukhrul :: Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs Southern Samity #5:: Gallery
  • Buddhism in Manipur
  • PDS : Proven Deceitful System
  • Love thy neighbour as thyself
  • B.Tech admission in NIT Manipur by JoSAA
  • Resolution adopted by Naga People Front
  • Iftar with locals at Lilong
  • Doubtful sincerity
  • Film Personalities #3 :: eRang Classic
  • U17 District Subroto Football :: Gallery
  • India's troubled region evades scribe-killing
  • Agenda of the BJP led Government #7
  • Sendra Park & Resort #3 :: 360 ° View
  • Career options in Education #2
  • Feverous Earth :: Poem
  • Create the right ambience for the kids
  • Reposing the trust
  • Compositeness of settlers of Manipur #2
  • Moirangthem Arup at Marathon, Africa
  • For the love of football
  • .... Moirang Sendra is for Moirang
  • Counselling for DU admission
  • Congratulate candidates from Thadou
  • North East - Delhi Consultancy
  • Jobs at PR Enterprises, Keisampat
  • Discussion on Oil Exploration at Chandel
  • Crucial period for parents/guardians
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • RKFD Sangai Trophy Veteran #2 :: Gallery
  • Achingliu Kamei at Half Marathon, St Albans
  • Sleepless night :: Poem
  • Arambam Boby Singh felicitated at Guwahati
  • Vice-free campus beckons Manipur student
  • Meeting on Stop Oil Exploration at Maklang
  • Shillong Lajong Signs Players For U-15
  • Need for a strong Congress ..Opposition
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #3
  • 2nd Hill People's Day by CM :: Gallery
  • Barak Festival at Senapati #2 :: Gallery
  • Phynyx coming up with new original songs
  • Goods & Service Tax & its role in Manipur
  • Oil Exploration Consultation at Khangabok
  • Condolence for Khaplang :: Nagaland CM
  • To each his own
  • Earth crack @ Kangpokpi #1 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Major David Manlun :: Gallery
  • Pottery by Thongjao, Kakching :: Gallery
  • Gurumayum Robert (Archer) :: Profile
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #2
  • Nampanliu Riamei : Ningtingale Award
  • Flood in Imphal [May 31] #2 :: Gallery
  • HSLC 2017 : Result
  • HSLC 2017 : Stats/Subject Toppers
  • HSLC 2017 : Result (External)
  • HSLC 2017 : Top 25
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Art exhibition at Ukhrul :: Gallery
  • President presents Award to Prof Subadani
  • Camping @ Phangrei, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Kanchan Soibam :: eRang Photos
  • HSE 2017 : Toppers in Science :: Gallery
  • Class XII result announced :: Gallery
  • Nungbi Chaphu - Ukhrul Pottery :: Gallery
  • Ksh Bhaktakumar- Mr India 2017:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #2 :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • 'Nura Pakhang'(Video) @Portugal:: Gallery
  • Purul, Senapati :: 360 View Panorama
  • SPONSORED ADS