Bhagoriya—Search for Soulmates


Bhagoriya is a festival of the Bhils and takes place during Holi, at the Jhabua and Alirajpur districts of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Gujarat. This is a festival for choosing soul-mates. For 7 days boys and girls—in flocks—gather at a village where on that day the weekly market is on. Boys dance round the girls talking through their flutes and dancing to a combined tune emitted from drums and jingles, while the fairer ones just giggle in answer. Guardians keep to the backdrop and only steps in if a match is made. Bhagoriya reminds me of beauty and the other thing, as the girls far outmatch the boys in elegance, in attire, in anything that looks dignified yet easy. In tribal Madhya Pradesh, marriages are made in markets.