Minnesotans Celebrate Rongali Bihu

- By Minti Deka and Dr. Ankita Deka

 Photographs (Courtesy): Gautam Deori and Geeti Das

The Assamese community of greater Twin cities area (Minneapolis-St Paul) celebrated the much awaited Rongali Bihu with fun and festivities on April 14, 2012. The venue for the celebration was the much loved log cabin at Shakopee which has served as the community’s Bihutoli for the last six years. The preparations for the Bihu day were initiated several weeks ahead with weekend get togethers that featured practice sessions for kids and adults, feasting on traditional Assamese foods and singing and dancing to popular Assamese songs. On the day of the Bihu, community members arrived bright and early at the Bihutoli and assumed their respective tasks of organizing the day’s events. The clear blue skies, whispering winds, and soft blades of grass that gleamed in the sunshine set the right tone for the day long celebrations. The hall and stage were aesthetically decorated to reflect the cultural significance of Bihu in the lives of the community members. Purabi organized a small exhibition on Assamese society and culture that displayed works or art, literary pieces, music, artifacts, traditional dress and jewellery. The exhibition both symbolized and reinforced the richness and versatility of a culture that has withstood the ravages of time. The ladies in the community laid out a scrumptious breakfast with all the traditional goodies. Following the big breakfast, the cultural program for the day was inaugurated by a brief welcome speech by Dr. Sanjeev Bordoloi. We transitioned to the cultural events of the day by singing one of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s iconic compositions “Aah Aah Ulai Aah”as a Xomobeto Xangeet.

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The sounds of this mind stirring melody reverberated through the otherwise serene setting of the Bihutoli. The emcees for the day were Nibir, Riyah and Ashmita and they displayed great energy and enthusiasm as they skillfully introduced items and presenters while keeping the audience engaged.

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Atharv, Arhi, Saniyah, Diksha, Devarsh, Annie, Ruhi, Sangeet, Sabreen, Nimisha and Darsh – had a wonderful time performing three of Bhupen Hazarika’s gems. The rendition of the famous compositions “Biswa Bijoy Nojuan”, “Konhua Bon” and “We are in the same boat brother” with their cute actions awed the audience. Geeti and Minti had led a helping hand in teaching them the songs.

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Then came the fun and delightful performance of the same group with “Tolou Khura” (Somesh) to the song “Baho’r Murha, Bogorir Gura, eta je asil Burha”, choreographed by Geeti. One of the highlights of the evening was a soul stirring performance by our upcoming stars – Sabriyah (on violin), Nibir (on keyboard) and Asmita (on cello). Among the star performances of the day was Nishan and Sabreen’s dance number that left everyone tapping their feet and cheering for more, Nibir and Samir’s magic show that mesmerized our little ones and elders alike, wonderful Assamese songs by Ayan and melodious keyboard recitals by Nimisha, Sangeet and Ruhi. Right after these wonderful performances by our talented kids it was time to go outside for our “Khel Dhemali”.

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Michigan Rongali Bihu Celebration and Other News

- Report by Ruma Barua and Photographs by Chandan Mozumder and Dipsikha Barooah

 Rongali Bihu was celebrated in metro Detroit on April 28th with much gaiety, music, dance and good food! It wasattended by around 120 attendees from Michigan as well as guests from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. Let the pictures tell the story......

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 Shraddhanjali to our dear Bhupenda.......One of his signature caps and a shirt were on display... 

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 Ladies’ Chorus – Srimoyee Axomi

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 Vibrant Bihu Dancers

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 “Sangeet Alekhya” in honor of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika

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Husori

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  Fashion Show Participants

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 “Kajra Muhabbat Wala!”

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 Budding artistes‐ Bilote Halise

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  Scene from the skit‐ Etiyao Xomoy Ase

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Scenes from Modern Mahabharat

 

Other News from Michigan:

Television Broadcast:
“Deuboriya Adda”, a weekly TV program on “Newslive” channel in Guwahati featured the local Assamese community of Michigan and was broadcast by the channel in late January/early February. The program was hosted by Partha and Mompi Borah of Lansing, MI. For those who missed seeing it live, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTHmh5LMCq4&;feature=autoplay&list=PL84D218954C3F6F89&playnext=1 (or you can search for Deuboriya Adda Michigan on youtube)

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Rongali Bihu celebration in Raleigh, North Carolina

Chiranjit Deka and Devraj Borah The Assamese community in Research Triangle Area of North Carolina USA (Raleigh-Durham-Cary-Morrisville) celebrated Rongali Bihu in Morrisville on April 28, 2012 in a familial atmosphere reminiscent of the Bihu celebrations of the past in Assam. This occasion gave the small Axomia community in the area an opportunity to usher in the Axomia New Year and celebrate their cultural heritage. Surrounded by an authentic Axomia décor brought to life with colorful gamochas, jaapis and Xarais beautifully put together by enthusiastic volunteers, the day began with a cultural program in which everyone joined in with joyful abundance. The program started with an introduction by cultural secretary Nilakshi Phukan Neog and Bihu society president Devraj Borah, who welcomed over 50 guests from the RTP area.

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The collegiality and energy of the gathering was enhanced by the presence of several Axomia families from the sister city of Charlotte NC about 200 miles from RTP. Participation and contributions from friends and relatives from other parts of India (Prabir Chetia-Mumbai) graced the occasion as well. The cultural program started with a soulful sound of a devotional song by Rathin and Meenakshi Devchoudhury, followed by an hour long children’s cultural program.

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