President’s Corner - May 2013

 President Corner_Bihu2013_1

Dear Friends,

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
President, AANA

President's Corner - Magh Bihu 2013

 Dear friends,

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!

President Corner_Magh_Bihu_2013

  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, 
 Nohoi bohag eti maah, 
 Oxomiya jatir ee aayux-rekha
 Gana jibonor ee xaah"...

 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,
Roopa Sharma
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.

News from Asom Sahitya Sabha, North America (ASSNA)

 

Monoranjan Bezboruah, President, ASSNA

ASSNA wishes a belated Happy New Year to each and every one amongst us.  Although it is only February, this is just a forward note about contributions to the forthcoming issue of the LPM.  As usual, our next LPM will be published as part of the AANA Convention to be hosted by our members in the Detroit area.  We will begin a rolling collection of articles, essays, stories, poems, personal experiences, and observations etc. from the month of March 2013.  The deadline for contribution to the 2013 LPM is May 31, 2013. 
Asom Sahitya Sabha, Jorhat branch held the "Bakul Banar Kabi" (Late Ananda Chandra Baruah) award and recognition ceremony on January 27, 2013, and ASSNA was represented there.  The Bakul Banar Kabi Trust chose a remarkably talented down to earth --man of the soil-- Loka Badyak for this year's award and recognition.  Srijut Dugtha Malakar, from Pathsala, is 90+ in age, but is still spritely and agile.  He had no formal education as such, but has acquired a status of great respect and admiration as an ace player of every conceivable instrument associated with Vaymaman Theater.  He stated that he began playing instruments on his own and began also acting as Chokra in the various Roving Theatre groups.  He has had the privilege of playing for and being associated with the greatest artists from our Assam. It was an eye-opener to see the needed recognition of the importance of our Loka Sanskriti and Loka lores while the Indian nation manifests the great bonding and purposefulness in considering the country as One Nation aspiring to reclaim her erstwhile glory and elan!
On ward we move, with the ASSNA planning to be present at the Asom Sahitya Sabha annual gathering in Borpeta during the first few days of February, 2013.

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