[Assam] Bihu celebrated in US with pomp and gaiety (The Sentinel, 02.05.2007)

Buljit Buragohain buluassam at yahoo.co.in
Tue May 1 21:36:06 PDT 2007

        Bihu celebrated in US with pomp and gaiety 
GUWAHATI, May 1: The Asomiya community of Texas celebrated Rongali Bihu at Corpus Christi on the weekend before the actual date of the festival. 
The event was successfully hosted by Ms Jaya Goswami and her family. An idyllic city by the gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi is surrounded by panoramic islands and beaches. Although the inclement weather disrupted the schedule, the spirited Texas Asomiyas ensured a grand celebration. 
Asomiyas from all over Texas, including Austin, Dallas, Huston and Edinburgh, participated with lots of enthusiasm. The Bihu celebration started at the Malaquite beach of Padre island. Because of rain, most of the activities were confined to indoors. 
The people enjoyed the myriad spread of pithas, ladoos and the like. Special thanks to Mike Finke and Rangam Baurah who braved the weather to ensure the completion of the games that were held as part of the occasion.
The evening function started with an introduction by Robin Mahanta. Mahanta and other seniors members of the Asomiya community— Lohit Datta-Barua, Dilip Deka, Hiren Sarma— became nostalgic as they recounted Bihu celebrations of earlier times. 
It was more than twenty five years ago when a few Asomiya families had organized Bihu in the US. The tradition has been carried on since then. It is because of their relentless efforts that Bihu is celebrated in the US today. 
Besides the pomp and gaiety, this year, the Texas Asomiya community honoured two young men for their services for the community. Ankur Bora of Austin was awarded for his effort to better basic education in rural Asom. Bora has been involved with a number of institutions of the State, namely Parijat Academy located in a tribal village near Guwahati and Prajnalaya another founded by late Jugal Bhuyan of Titabor. 
The other person awarded was Zia Islam for his work on preservation of traditional tribal cultures of North-east India.
The cultural function started with the chorus “ahh ahh olai ahh xajag janata”. It is worthwhile to mention that Dr Susan Das translated the original song to Roman script so that everyone could participate in the chorus. 
Little children delighted the audience with Bihu dance and solo recitals. The Houston troupe took the audience to a visual delight with a recital signifying the bonding between different cultures of Asom and her seven sisters.
     (The Sentinel,02.05.2007)
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