Teaching India

Through the Music of "Lagaan"

The film “Lagaan” is set in the late 19th century and tells a story of a small village struggling to pay taxes (lagaan) to the British troupes that occupy the region. A British captain makes a deal with the movie's hero, Bhuvan, that he will waive the taxes for three years if the villagers can beat the British in a game of cricket. If the villagers lose, they must pay triple lagaan. The movie is a Bollywood film which has several songs addressing specific aspects of Indian culture. This website is designed to instruct teachers to use the songs of “Lagaan” to teach Indian climate, Hinduism, love and marriage, and Bollywood.


Applicable National Music Standards:

6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.

8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts. 

9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

This site was created by Era Pope at the NEH Summer Institute "Literatures, Religions, and Arts of the Himalayan Region," held at the College of the Holy Cross, Summer 2011.