- 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.
As we were driving through Kentucky, we passed Louisville and the Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is held. After a couple of hours, I began spotting the Nashville signs. Finally, we arrived! The hotel was really big and grand. My impression was Wow, great, awesome, fantastic! We promptly checked in and settled into our room. Then my family and I went downstairs to say hi to people we hadn’t met for a long time. My parents met some old friends of theirs and I was excited to meet some new friends. I was really hungry so I was eager to order a pizza. While I was waiting for my food, I talked with friends and played with Reisha (my lil’ sister). My pizza arrived, and it was delicious!! Eventually, we went back to our room to get a good night’s rest. The next morning, after I woke up, I had to eat breakfast and dress up. Next, I went outside and introduced myself to all of the children. Afterwards, I went downstairs to eat lunch and soon the inauguration started. To kick it off, two country singers –Michael and Becca- sang some very nice country music. Nashville is the home of country music. Their performance was followed by the chorus competition. I accompanied the Minneapolis team on the keyboard and it turned out well. Later, the “Children’s Show” began during which I played my Assamese piece on the keyboard and I think everyone liked it as I heard people clapping for me!! It felt good!! . After that, there was an Assamese violinist, Sunita Khound, who played some beautiful music. Following Sunita’s performance was an Assamese singer, Abhishruti Bezbaruah, who sang some melodious songs. During the evening function, everyone sang and danced the night away. The dinner, the performances and the fun made it a great day. The next morning, I woke up with a smile on my face. It was the 4th of July and it was my birthday!! It was special because it was my 10th b’day! Yay! The two digits finally! My mom, dad and my sister wished me a happy birthday and I felt very special. My mom said that we need to get ready early as there were a lot of programs lined up for the day. She also said, “There will be a fashion show this afternoon”. I said, “Great! Maybe Reisha can be in it," and we all laughed. Funnily enough, Reisha did end up in the fashion show, which made it ten times more fun! All the kids and the adults looked so great in their fancy dresses. There was an arts and crafts exhibition and we saw traditional Assamese dresses, jewelry, paintings and Assamese souvenirs. I made a set of paper coasters for the exhibition and it was displayed along all the other cool stuff. Then the evening cultural program started. The following 3 things were the highlights of the evening for me: Angaarag Mahanta’s singing, Pooky and Parvez uncle’s hip-hop dance, and Meghna and Devika’s Bharatanatyam dance. Angaarag, or Papon, sang and left the crowd mesmerized! He was so good that I would like to see him perform again. Next was Pooky’s hip-hop dance. It was so awesome!!! It was very a very energetic dance and it obviously took a lot of work. The crowd gave them a standing ovation. After that was Meghna and Devika’sBharatanatyam dance which mesmerized the crowd, too. It was beautifully synchronized and they got a standing ovation as well. However, the best highlight of the evening was my surprise birthday party!! It was held in my hotel room and there was cake, presents and lots of laughs. Nevertheless, the best part was hanging out with my friends and family. It was the 5th of July morning and everybody was getting ready to return from the convention. As we were driving back home we stopped at the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky and I loved the huge caves. After that we said bye to my friends and I was sad that my trip was about to come to an end. All of the great events had to come to an end. The first day at home, I felt down. However, after a few days, I didn’t feel so sad anymore. All in all, I will never forget my trip to Nashville, Tennessee.