We mourn the sudden and tragic passing of our own Dr. Jawahar Barua of Texas. Let us collectively pray for his eternal rest in heaven. May God give strength to his immediate and extended family to cope with this terrible loss!
This edition of our Newsletter is dedicated to our Assam Convention 2012 at Calgary, Canada. For those of us who had the good fortune to attend, this was truly a convention of great beauty and finesse. The tireless Host committee skillfully wove a splendid tapestry spanning the reverberating music and dance of the Brahmaputra valley, soulful Goalporia lokogeet, the trumpeting of elephants, Bollywood dhamaka punctuated by riveting western melodies. In many ways, this convention also marked for us a transition from the days of our venerable bard, Bhupenda to the modern generation. The baton exchange literally occurred, when Bhupenda’s eternal music, rekindled wonderfully by his son Tej and sister Stuty, was followed by the ebullient music of the guest artistes Dikshu and Barnali and the young folks of Calgary and Edmonton. Read all about the enchanting programs in the following collages.
AANA President Gautam Lal Baruah speaking at the 2012 Assam Convention Calgary
during Inauguration. (To his right Mrs. Anu Borah, AFNA Board of Director
and left Hon. Manmeet Bhullar, Minister of Services Alberta)
In the fun and excitement, we sometimes forget the great challenges faced in hosting such a convention. It has been recognized by several past organizers including the present executive body, that our Annual Assam Convention is quite a complex endeavor due to its continent wide ambit, financial liquidity and solvency issues, challenges in obtaining artistes visas, negotiation of favorable hotel contracts, media promotion etc. While several host committees have embraced these challenges whole heartedly, it is also true that in many cases the wheel had to be reinvented and unforeseen hurdles had to be overcome. This has, on several occasions, diminished the element of joy among the organizers and is counter to the essence of these conventions. Therefore, “The Guidelines for Hosting the Assam Convention” were introduced at the Annual General Body Meeting by the AANA President to facilitate a smooth transition from one convention to the next and to remove the road bumps in convention execution. This was the culmination of countless discussions among the AANA executive body over several months. These guidelines were an attempt to distill the experience of past convention organizers into a few concise bullet-points covering the main organizational aspects of the convention. A lively discussion ensued following the presentation, after which the Assam Convention Guidelines were unanimously approved by the AANA members present.
I take this opportunity to welcome several new Life and Annual members into our fold. God bless you. The tireless volunteers of the umbrella organizations of AANA, AFNA and ASSNA work ceaselessly to promote Assamese culture, literature and social uplift. We exhort you to join this family and contribute to these noble causes. The forms are available in this newsletter. We are grateful to the Calgary Host Committee for the fantastic convention. Their story was a labor of love, perseverance and guts triumphing against daunting financial and logistical challenges. The 34th Assam Convention, 2013 will be at Detroit, Michigan. Read about it in this issue and mark your calendars for a really stupendous convention in Detroit in 2013. See you there.
- Best wishes and regards,
Dr. Gautam L Baruah, President, AANA
Happy Rongali Bihu and Assamese New year to all of you! Bohag is here and the Axomiya raiz are in their element with song, dance and poetry. The picture collages express the exuberant mood and joy more eloquently than words. As if engendered by the spring season itself, our Probaxi Axomiya Xomaj of North America and UK has blossomed and is making its mark in all aspects of life. Our beloved Rongali Bihu dominates the biosphere in this season but we have weaved a tapestry of stories and news that will whet your interest. You will be transported to our Bihu tolis in USA, Canada and UK. Stories of great scholarship and art will inspire all generations among us. Most of all, you will be amazed as many of us in Chicago were recently, to hear the rousing saga of Ai Axom’s hopes, aspirations, promise and rapid progress. Assam is at the take off stage for great times and achievement. Read all about this exciting story in the piece about Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister from Assam. Our community is extremely talented in the fields of Project management, Computer technology, Healthcare and Engineering. It behooves us to contribute our knowledge to the development of our beloved motherland.
This is also a moment to mourn the tragic loss of hundreds of our brothers and sisters at Dhubri. Let us all pray that their souls rests in peace. Please donate generously to AFNA for the '2012 Dhubri Cyclone Relief'. The tireless volunteers of the umbrella organizations of AANA, AFNA and ASSNA work ceaselessly to promote Assamese culture, literature and social uplift. We exhort you to join this family and contribute to these noble causes. We are short of hands. The projects are many and the hours in a day just not enough. The forms are available in this newsletter. It is not too late to book your tickets and register for the BUMPER 33rd Assam Convention, 2012 at Calgary. The details are on page 3 below. See you all at Calgary.
Best wishes and regards,
Dr. Gautam L Baruah, President, AANA
AANA President Gautam Lal Baruah with his wife AFNA Director Enakshi Baruah
Happy New Year and Happy Magh Bihu to you all! It gives us great pleasure to bring out the Magh Bihu newsletter. I strongly urge you to read it from start to the end. During the editing phase, I went through it line by line. Two words came to my mind: Simply superb. I felt as if I went on a journey through the vast American Continent with stops in Assamese households all over. Our vibrant community has really grown roots here and supplanted the Assamese culture, firmly in its soil. People are really writing with great finesse and deft poetic touch. The piece from Mr. Prasanna Datta is very poignant and the AFNA/Amarpal's story is rousing and heartening. You will shed tears, taste pitha and doi seera and hear our rich and soulful music.
This is also a moment to reflect on the sad demise of Bhupenda, Mamoni Raisom Goswami and our own beloved Dr. Kamna Das who has been an epitome of dedication, enthusiasm and leadership spanning all generations for several decades. Let us all pray that their souls rests in peace. Let us pledge to remember what they stood for and contribute our own mite to our society and culture. To facilitate this, you are requested to join our organization. The forms are available in this newsletter. Your support is of paramount importance to promote our culture, literature and to support charitable causes in Assam.
President Gautam L. Baruah & Mrs. Enakshi Baruah (center)
Assam Convention 2008, Atlanta, GA
We invite you to the next Assam Convention (33rd) at Calgary, Canada, a place of great beauty and charming hospitality. The Calgary folks have promised us a fantastic experience. Don’t miss this opportunity. Read their piece below.
Best wishes and regards,
Gautam L Baruah, Ph.D.
Assam Association of North America