-By Arup Goswami
“Tyde nor time tarrieth no man.” It’s truly hard to believe that another year has passed. Last year at this time we were busy wrapping up the 33rd Assam Convention, and now the 34th Assam Convention in Detroit has also resolved with a great success.
Detroit, the Motor City (Motown), is the most populated city in the U.S. state of Michigan, and is the seat of Wayne County, the most populated county in the state. The City and its surrounding regions in Michigan evoke emotions and preconceptions from people around the globe. The Assamese community (AAMI) in Detroit has shown a great spirit in fostering the heritage of Assamese Culture and passing this heritage on to the next American Assamese generation.
The venue for the 34th Assam convention was Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac at Centerpoint. About 400 people from various parts of USA, Canada, and India gathered to celebrate the prestigious annual convention in Detroit. Everyone from the Host Committee clearly demonstrated their great dedication towards the success of the event.
Thursday Evening, July 04th (Sinaki Nite):
The majority of the people from various parts of the US arrived Thursday afternoon. My wife and I also arrived at the hotel around 6:00 PM. The registration desk opened at around 7:00 PM, and as usual the informal meet and greet with snack and tea was very interesting. Amongst the casual conversations struck up between the arriving guests, the plan to depart to the local Italian restaurant surfaced. There was an informal Jalsa and Talent show from 8:30 to 10:30 PM followed by Adda with Anupam Chakraborty from Newslive TV from Assam.
Friday, July 05th (Opening Gala – “Sanmilanar Subharambha”):
ASSNA Meeting started at 9:00 AM, followed by AFNA Meeting. It was great to see refreshments being served in the meeting room.
Presentations by Tej Hazarika, Hiren Sarma, Partha Gogoi and Dev Choudhury under Opportunities and Thought Starters were very intriguing.
Parallel programs like the children’s games and the fashion show practice kept everyone busy enough to work up an appetite.
Opening ceremony started at about 1:30 with the playing of the “Dhol” and “Tal” followed by lighting of the torch by Prafulla Baruah and Kripa Nath Borah. The national anthem of USA and India was sung and followed by a “Borgeet” beautifully sung by Mitali Baruah Sharma. AANA President Dr. Gautam Lal Baruah announced the official opening of the convention. Former Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University “Dr. Kulendu Pathak” delivered a valuable speech. Soon after, all the guest artists, including the newslive attendee were honoured with gamocha and token of gifts by the host committee.
Lighiting of “Saki” in the lobby area and Cake cutting by the guest artists in the “Assam Convention Red Carpet Area” added a glamourous touch to the opening ceremony.
Anima Chakravartty Memorial Chorus competition started just after the opening ceremony. The Minneapolis team lifted the trophy, keeping them ahead of Texas, Ohio, Toronto, and Seattle. Performance by Children under Little Stars and Jhankar Kids Category thoroughly proved the success of passing over the cultural heritage to the next generation. As expected, the youth program Anchors performed beyond expectation.
Evening session started with delicious Chinese dinner followed by an adult program with Ganesh Bandan, performance by local artists, guest artists Mallika Kandali’s Satrya Dance, Prarthana Choudhury, local chap Sameer Barua & Band Motown Review, and Simanta Shekhar’s incredible performance.
Saturday, July 06th (Grand Finale – “Rang Mohotshab”):
Second day started with AANA Meeting at 9:00 AM, Tea and Coffee with Donuts added energy. Youth forum followed by presentation by Kisan Upadhaya, Chandan Mahanta and others were very interesting. Kids parallel program including Magic show kept kids busy and made everyone hungry for the Italian lunch.
Assam Trivia by Rathin DevChodhury helped to digest the lunch. Cultural program Nostalgia showed active participation of the AAMI group in various presentations including Bihu dance by ladies group. Fashion Show was another attraction just before the tea break. Cultural program Oikotaan session demonstrated lot of local and North American talent
Last Supper – the most wanted Dinner with mouth watering “Rohu Fish” made everyone happy and thanked food committee. Also everyone appreciated “Ghila pitha”, “Kata Nimki”, “Samosa”, “Jelebi”, “Chatt” etc, during tea sessions.
Final session of Cultural program – Rangali Sandhya started with fantastic presentation by Toronto Band followed by Satriya Dance by Dr. Mallika Kandali.
Prarthana’s final performance and later Simanta’s performance pulled the audience on their feet and continued up to the end at about 3:00 AM. It was clear that the host committee put in their effort to pull everything off, and with such a successful convention they should be proud of all that they have accomplished.