On the 20th of April 2013, the Assamese community of Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) metropolis celebrated Bohag Bihu in a joyous and spirited way just as they have been doing for years. The greater Texas Bohag bihu at Houston was celebrated a week earlier where a number of DFW Assamese families attended as well. The DFW Bihu covered those that could not go to Houston. It was a double treat for some of us as who were able to attend both the events.
The DFW Bihu evening was a two hour long cultural treat consisting of programs such as Husori, Zikir, chorus, Ladies group dance, Children’s group dance and medley, skit, individual songs and a Sattriya nritya performance. Participation and concerted effort from all residents were evident in the variety and in the quality of the programs presented.
The colorful evening was graced by many visiting parents of the DFW residents’ whose presence and encouragements added its grace and elegance to the celebration. The Husori did full justice to the sanctity and fanfare of the tradition. There were two dhols, two pairs of taals to keep rhythm while energetic man folks danced and sang to make it a grand performance. It ended with Axirbad in keeping with the tradition .
Zikir , of a devotional folk song genre introduced by Azan Fakir, a saint of the late 17th century , to the Assam region , was performed by the energetic youths of the metropolis . The chosen zikir was Saheb Jai Agote, one of the many gems from Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s creations.
A Sattriya or Sattriya Nritya performance in full costume was a notable individual presentation among others. Sattriya or Sattriya Nritya is one among eight principal classical Indian dance traditions. The tradition of Sattriya nritya is a big testimony to Sankardev’s genius , it is an accompaniment to the Ankia Naat (a form of Assamese one-act plays devised by him), which were usually performed in the sattras, as Assam's monasteries are called.
The children were just amazing. Their Bihu dances and synchronization rivaled the grown ups.
Ai Saraswati O’ , another one of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s famed creation was presented as a dance drama sequence, and was very pleasant to watch.
The ladies team presented a group dance item and was very spectacular. This bihu dance with Japi in hand was indeed among the other high light of the evening. Three Individual song sequence presentations by three different artists in tandem were admired and applauded by all. A light hearted skit staged on the theme of an old man’s dilemma to be forced into granting donations to some unlikely mix of free-loaders was well received by the audience.
Some of the younger kids’ individual performances were particularly delightful to watch.
The DFW Bihu 2013 was hosted in a decked up hall that set the ambience for a great evening. The energy and enthusiasm dissipated throughout the hall culminated in a boisterous outbreak of bihu songs and mukoli bihu dance by all that went on well past the mid-night.