2012 Rongali Bihu Celebration in Phoenix, Arizona

Otikoi Senehor Bohagor Bihuti Napati Kenekoi Thaku
- By Rashmi and Samar Bhuyan, Phoenix, Arizona

 Rongali Bihu celebration has always been the most awaited event for the Assamese community of Arizona. A small Assamese community comprising 10 families lives in and around Phoenix. This year, the “Rongali Bihu Adarani” was organized on the early evening of April 14, at a community center named “Snedigar Recreation Center and Sportsplex”. Families from other states of India and Bangladesh, who have been interested to be familiar with Assamese culture also attended as guest families at this event.
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A temporary display booth was constructed inside the hall in order to remind the community and especially their children about its history and rich culture. The display included muga silk dresses, brass articles and jewelries of Assam, write up of its history, tourist places, and natural resources among other things. Prior to the start of the cultural program, children were involved in drawing arts and making crafts of Assamese jewelry and decorations. Chandan Das and his daughter Sthuthi then took the stage as MCs for the cultural program. It started with singing jatiya sangeet, O Mur Apunar Desh, and national anthem of India and US. Children including Aditya, Ananya, Antara, Brinda, Broto, Diya, Jyotishmaan, Neil, Rishaan, Sanmaan, and Sthuthi showed their talents by singing, reading assasmese poems, playing piano/keyboards, and showing gymnastic art etc.

They also performed a dance on Jyoti sangeet, “Bonoria Ami Bonor Sarai.....” choreographed by Rachna Nath. Binoy Saha organized a quiz for the children. All time melodious Kalaguru Bishnu Rabha sangeet “Surore Deulare Rupore Xikoli.....” and a sweet Karnatic song were presented as chorus. These choruses were beautifully sung by Ankita and Neon Talukdar, Devi and Divy Vij, Rachna and Diganta Nath, Rashmi and Samar Bhuyan, Shamala and Chandan Das, Korobee Reddy and Sandhya Kumar. The audience also sang along when the groups sang on the stage. Later on, Diganta Nath sang a solo song. A group dance on Jyoti Sangeet, “More Jivanare Sokha Krishna....”, beautifully choreographed by Rachna Nath was performed by Ankita Das, Devi Vij, Nikita Bhuyan, and Rachna Nath. A bihu dance was then presented by Nikita Bhuyan, and Arpita Kundu from Bangladesh. Nikita Bhuyan choreographed this bihu dance. These dance performances drew great appreciation from the crowd. Toward the end of the cultural program, Satish Reddy cracked a few jokes. A short skit titled “Census” was presented by Ankita and Neon Talukdar, and Rashmi and Samar Bhuyan. These presentations drew huge laughter from the audience. All children were then awarded with certificates of appreciation for their participation in the cultural event. Dinner followed this award ceremony. The cultural event was then culminated with “mukoli bihu” dance. Everyone participated in mukoli bihu by dancing in groups, couples, and individually. This Rongali Bihu celebration was then concluded with words of thanks and blessings to everyone.

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