Jugni, Dhola and Mahiya: Comparing


  • Syed Shabihul Hasnain Kazmi


Among the amazing variety of forms of poetic expression by the folk of the Punjab region, this essay has selected three genres: mahiya, dhola and jugni. The study is meant to compare these three genres of Punjabi folklore, in their evolution, structure, expression and themes. The study finds that the three genres are very old in time origin and tracing their exact origins in history is impossible, only few hints are available. Their structures are variable, as mahiya has a fixed structure, dhola has rather loose structure giving more freedom to the singer-poet, and jugni has a specific meter in certain lines, but it has freedom to repeat some lines for perfect expression of the melody. The structures in fact follow the tunes, distinct for each genre. Three genres have many themes common, but jugni has spirituality as dominant theme, dhola has expression of love as dominant them and mahiya has now become quite inclusive, but it originated as expression of love and it still retains that character in its core. The folk heart of Punjab has endeared these three genres so much that these are appreciated far and wide in original tunes, but new experiments of tunes and themes are also underway. Being a true mirror of simple unsophisticated villagers these folk songs would lose popularity if these villagers become sophisticated hence the need for their preservation is highlighted in this study.