Happy Rongali Bihu and Assamese New year to all of you! Kaleidoscopic, rejuvenation, youth and exuberance are a few words that capture the essence of the Rongali Bihu festivities in North America. You will read articles about our beautiful and vibrant Diasporas from Chicago, Calgary, Atlanta, Michigan, Toronto, North Carolina, New Jersey, Boston, Washington State, Washington DC, Arizona, Minnesota, Houston and Dallas. This wide spread is the hallmark of a community that has found its feet in these vast lands. Amidst all the fun and gaiety, we should remember and observe a moment of silence for our near and dear – stalwarts who have led and guided us. Their poignant stories are at the end of this newsletter. Let us also pray for the departed souls and the wounded in Aurora, Milwaukee, Newtown, and Boston.
Our organization, AANA, promotes Assamese culture and brings the Assamese community together through our Annual conventions for the last 34 years. We deliver the Bihu celebrations and other community news to the doorstep of the Assamese families of North America through our quarterly newsletters. This year we have focused on two aspects: Streamlining of the Convention Organization Process and Membership enrollment. We have generated a White Paper, (to be approved at our AGM in Detroit) that encapsulates all the aspects of convention organization with helpful guidelines, samples and templates. We have picked the brains of our community stalwarts and previous organizers for this effort. We hope this will facilitate Conventions for future organizers. AFNA, our sister organization, focuses on social welfare and charities aimed at alleviating the suffering of some of the under privileged folks back home. Another sister organization of ours, ASSNA is the North American chapter of the Asom Sahitya Sabha. It has been providing an excellent platform to those among us of literary bent and who have great tales to recount. All this excellent work by our umbrella organizations has been made possible due to the unflagging enthusiasm, dedication and commitment of a band of tireless folks. If you have a desire to contribute to our culture, champion worthy causes or want your voice to be heard, I exhort you to join our organization. Together we could work miracles. I will take this moment to welcome several new members who joined our fold during the Assam Convention at Calgary and thereafter. We provide the Assamese directory, Luitor Pora Mississipi free with our nominal annual membership of $40 apart from a $25 discount at our conventions. The membership forms are available in this newsletter.
In case you have been very busy and have not yet heard about the 34th Assam Convention at Detroit, please read all about it in the following pages. The early bird discount is available till May 15th only. Most importantly, the hotel rooms are going very fast. The host committee from Michigan has planned a truly magnificent fare for all of us to enjoy. Do not miss this great opportunity to be transported to 3 days of cultural bliss. It is not too late to book your tickets and register for the SUPER 34th Assam Convention, 2013 at Detroit. See you all at Detroit in a few weeks.
Best wishes and warm regards,
Dr. Gautam L Baruah