Otikoi Senehor Bohagor Bihuti Napati Kenekoi Thaku
By Rashmi and Samar Bhuyan, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Assamese community of Phoenix, Arizona has been proudly celebrating Rongali bihu for past several years. The community gathered in Tumbleweed Park, owned by City of Chandler, on the day of the bihu, April 14, 2013. Various fun-filled sports were played in that park’s field. Sports included 50-m run, koni juj, 1-legged run, and especially 3-legged run participated by husband and wife.
“Rongali Bihu Adarani utsav” was then organized in the evening of April 27, 2013 at “Snedigar Recreation Center”, located within metropolitan Phoenix area. Several families from and around Phoenix, and few guests from other parts of India as well gathered to show solidarity, and actively participated. The hall was painstakingly decorated with gamosas, japi, xorai, muga silk, and pictures of tourist places of Assam and all north eastern states.
While the bihu songs and music filled the air, the mouthwatering jolpan was served. The MC for the cultural program were Chandan Das, Nikita Bhuyan and Sthuthi Das. Initially, senior members of this community, Karuna Bhuyan and Dr. Arvind Phukan were greeted with “Bihuwan”. Few announcements were also made including for the successful opening of “Chandan Shamala Library” in Goalpara, Assam as a result of tireless effort by Chandan and Shamala Das. It recently received non profit organization status in US, and web sites have been launched through http://www.chandanshamalalibrary.org/ and facebook.
Cultural program then started with presentation of national anthem of US and India, followed by jatio sangeet, O Mur Apunar Desh. Sanchali Bhattachartjya presented a bhajan in the beginning. All time melodious Rudra Barua’s song, “Poka Dhanar Maje maje”, was sung as a chorus. It was presented by Sanchali Bhattacharjya, Rashmi Bhuyan, Korobee Daas, Shamala and Chandan Das, Rachna and Diganta Nath, Bobby and Binoy Saha, Aradhana Saikia, Ankita Talukdar, and Devi and Divy Vij. Diya Nath presented a solo assamese song. Sanchali Bhattacharjya and Chandan Das presented the Goalporia loka geet “Kamala Sundari..”as duet. Few other duet songs were sung by Korobee Daas and Rachna Nath, and Ravi and Nisha Kulkarni. Neon Talukdar and Samar Bhuyan played keyboard and tabla, respectively, on these songs. Tanushri presented a bihu song that made most of the audience to dance along with the song. Children including Brenda, Broto, Diya, Jyotishman, Meghna, Neil, Nisha, Rishan, Sanmaan, and Sthuthi showed their talents by singing solo song, playing keyboards and tabla, presenting jokes, etc.
A group dance on Kalaguru Bishnu Rabha geet “Biswar Sande Sande…” was performed by Nikita Bhuyan, Rachna Nath, Bobby Saha, and Ankita Talukdar. A Children group dance on “Kuruwa Botahe..” song was also presented. Nisha Kulkarni presented an Odissi dance. All these dances were beautifully choreographed by Rachna Nath. Nikita Bhuyan then presented a Satriya dance on Dashavater song that drew big applause from the crowd.
Toward the end of the cultural program, Rashmi and Samar Bhuyan and Ankita and Neon Talukdar performed a skit titled “Suli Gajua Darab” that brought laughter to the audience. All children were then awarded with gifts and certificates of appreciation.
A sumptuous bihu bhoj followed the cultural program. The dishes, cooked and contributed by every family, were primarily prepared to assamese taste, and included North and South Indian dishes that enriched the diversity of the menu and the celebration.
The celebration was then culminated with Mukoli Bihu, which was a heart and soul of that evening and sparkled the atmosphere. Their energy and enthusiasm dissipated throughout the hall and the audience took part in dancing as individual, couple and in group. The cultural program was then ended with a great speech from Dr. Arvind Phukan. Rongali bihu celebration was then concluded in the middle of the night with words of thanks and blessings to everyone for a successful new year.