Warm greetings from the snow-covered Windy City beautiful Chicago!
As I read the Magh-Bihu news from different regions of the USA and Canada and look at the celebration-pictures in this Newsletter, I marvel at how well our community unites to preserve our heritage, culture, and time-honored traditions. Nowadays, during Magh Bihu, cities in Assam are brimming with Bihu-stalls selling 'pitha, laroo, aakhoi, hurum, ghotor doi' and cream, as well as other kinds of ethnic food. Most families take advantage of the convenience of ready-made Assamese delicacies, while also helping the vendors financially. As that change is occurring in Assam, in this far-away land, our Assamese ladies and gentlemen are happily making 'pitha' and 'laroo' from scratch, sometimes even improvising, by substituting sticky rice for 'bora saul' to make 'til diya pitha'. It is indeed heart-warming to see that effort, and of course, the vibrant children learning about their cultural roots and enjoying the festivities!
Now, slowly but surely, the spring season is knocking at our doors. Soon, the sunny daffodils will bloom, "fluttering and dancing in the breeze". The flowering trees will paint the landscape in beautiful colors. And celebrate we will...because then comes April, a month so dear to every Assamese and we will celebrate our 'bapoti xahun' Rongali Bihu - the Assamese jewel.
As Dr. Bhupen Hazarika said:
"Bohag mathu eti writu nohoi,
This summer, the 34th Assam Convention will be held in Detroit and the organizers are gearing up for it. We invite each one of you to help make the event a grand success. Please remember that AANA and AFNA members will receive a registration discount. For further information, please log on to the AANA website at http://www.aanahome.org/ or visit the convention website directly.
On behalf of AANA executives, it is my pleasure to wish you all a happy Rongali Bihu and a happy, prosperous, and peaceful Assamese New Year.
Long live AANA.
With warm wishes,
Vice President, AANA
Note: Dr. Gautam Lal Baruah, President, AANA is currently out of the country. In his absence, Ms. Roopa Sharma, the Vice President of AANA, has contributed this column.