The Snake Charmers

The first sight to greet us as we stepped out of the rickshaw outside the City Palace in Jaipur. A very iconic folk art – but disappearing fast, as the magic of the snake dancing to the tunes of the charmer is replaced by a modern outlook on animal rights and the cold science behind the art. For me, who has embraced the symbolism of the serpent in Hinduism & Buddhism and finds these creatures utterly beautiful, I do feel it is better for these creatures not to be subject to this form of art. And as India moves towards development, maybe it is time to leave this very iconic symbol the snake charmer had become of an under-developed country (“land of snake charmers”) behind… some art-forms are better left behind.

Snake charmers outside the City Palace in Jaipur. (Dec. 2012)

Snake charmers outside the City Palace in Jaipur. (Dec. 2012)

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