Papon Mahanta, Abhishruti Bezboruah and Sunita Bhuyan Khaund, three rising new-generation stars from Assam rocked the music city of Nashville, Tennessee (USA) for two and a half day long annual community festival on July 2-4. The attending Assam origin residents of Canada and the US with their guests, friends, second generation children and youth were overwhelmed with glittering presentations of Assamese and Indian musical and dancing art and culture side by side American folk culture. The opening of the convention started with the national anthems of the US, led by Nashville singing star Ms. Jennie Williamson, and of India, led by Krishanu Kaushik and Mitali Sarma.. Jayanta and Gina Barua, the local hosts, welcomed the gathering into their city of Nashville. The theme of the Convention was ‘bridging of the generation’. Reflecting on that, Samantha Deka welcomed all on behalf of the next generation with a message of commitment towards continuity of the tradition set forth by the first incoming-generation. The opening number was the traditional Borgett by Ranjana Datta, next Assamese Satriya dance presented by Ms. Lalita Das of Illinois. This was followed by a half hour long American country music performed by Nashville Opryland celebrity duo, Becca Hadzor and Michael Krejci. The first and second generation Assam origin artistic talents added continuous flavor and color of Assamese culture in various sessions dedicated to the adult, youth and children’s programs. In singing, Canadian resident Mitali Sarma, US residents Ranjana Datta, Krishanu Kaushik, Chitralehka Deka, Shrilekha Deka and many others provided breaks to Papon, Abhishruti and Sunita’s entertainment. Tablist Babul Borah and young guitarist Chiranjit Bordoloi accompanied most of the artists tirelessly at all times. Rekha Kalita, Sneha Hazarika, Swapnalee Sarma, Babita Baruwati and Piyalee Das-Sarma presented various traditional Assamese and Indian classical dances.
- Gaurab Sarma
The members of the youth group take pleasure and pride to report that some of its members contributed heavily to the success of the 31st Assam Convention held in Nashville, Tennessee during the last 4th July weekend. The dazzling performances of Neeshan Hussain (with her father) of Minnesota (fusion dance), Raina and Elina Sarmah of Atlanta (fusion Indian classical dance), Meghna and Devika Kataky of Minneapolis (Bharat Natyam dance), and America youth Wes Newell of Louisville (Bollywood dance) were some of the best items performed in the cultural agenda.
Smita Das of Tallahassee and Aabir Das of New York participated in issues discussed in various organizational meetings contributing to the community social activities. Samantha Deka of Cincinnati conducted the thrilling ‘dancing with DJ’ that kept old and young dancing through the night.
- By Sabriyah Taher, MNOne evening, I sat on the couch watching some T.V. when I heard my dad say, “Riyah, we’re going to Tennessee for the Assam Convention!” The moment I heard this, I thought, Great! We’re going to Tennessee! Even better, for an Assam Convention! Soon, we started planning our trip. In fact, we were going to make it a road trip! Driving to Nashville was exciting and tiring. We had to make two stops before we got to our final destination.
The first stop was at Rockford, Illinois where we stayed in Baymont Inns and Suites for the night. The next day, we headed to Indianapolis, Indiana. During our drive, we saw a lot of flat land and a few small farms. Mostly, it was all rural area. In Indianapolis, we stayed at my friend, Rishav’s, house. We played a lot together and even went swimming. We also saw the Indi 500 race rack where Danica Patrick rides. It was truly amazing. After that, we began to go to Nashville.