India

Ajmer and Delhi

Ethnomusicologist : Martina Catella

The sources of the qawwali and the origin of this idiom are the two principal sanctuaries of the Chisthi brotherhood.

Welcomed by the descendant of the founding saint of the Mu’inuddin Chishti brotherhood, studies carried out in the town of Ajmer and its sanctuary revealed a reality completely different to that in Pakistan.

Whereas the Pakistani Muslim world, no doubt because it is closed in on itself and an increasing majority of the Sufis infused with a fundamentalist radicalism, expresses its devotion with a pronounced gravity (apart from in street celebrations), and places an emphasis on the word revealed by music, the Indian Muslim world is exteriorized, multicoloured, … heavily perfumed, festive etc.