[Assam] Assam day in the UK
r.goswami at ntlworld.com
Fri Sep 8 21:30:52 EDT 2006
I have just sent this report as an attachment which would probably be
scrubbed. Hence this mail
Strictly Bihu dance, Japi throwing and Ladu on spoon race were just some of
the highlights of the Assam Day 2006. The three day event which commenced on
26August, a British Bank holiday, was hosted by the United Assam Association
of the UK at the 4* Brooklands hotel, Barnsley, Yorkshire. The celebration
was well attended and was a grand success. It was colourful, relaxing and
Dr. Bhupen Dev Sarmah, the new president of the association, from Birmingham
inaugurated the 2006 Assam Day with his welcome speech. A cultural show,
organised by Dr. Kumud Sharma followed. The second generation performers
demonstrated their talents quite competently. Dances presented by them, too
numerate to name individual performers, captivated the audience. The most
outstanding was Adil Ali, an eight year old boy whose family attended the
Assam Day for the first time. He was quite at ease dancing Bihu dance and a
modern one dancing to a Hindi film song and showing all the emotions of an
adult. If he is guided along that route, he might even be a famous dancer
There were two invited guest artists for Assam Day: Mr. Robin Goswami and
Mrs. Madhurima Goswami Chaudury from the USA and Assam respectively.
Madhurima and her daughter presented a Satriya dance and with his melodious
voice, Robin sang a number of Bhupen Hazarika's songs making us all feel so
Manju Barkataky from Seaham presented a hilarious parody of the song ' Oh
Mai Joshua .' replacing Joshua with Madonna with the North East Group .The
audience was also treated to a short play directed by Dr. Dwijen Baruah from
Swansea and produced by Dr. Pranati Sarmah from Birmingham. This concluded
the cultural show.
In the mean time, an Indian Buffet was laid out for the guests. I came to
know with surprise that Dr. Rama Bharatia, MBE, from Barnsley had cooked
each item of food
for the guests numbering more than 150.
After the slap-up meal, there was disco where old and young all
Sunday morning was devoted to more serious cultural issues. Julie Sarmah, a
primary school teacher from Nottingham, made a thought-provoking
presentation of her project relating to beliefs, religious or otherwise. She
screened a documentary of her students and religious leaders' opinions
This followed a sneak preview of a documentary by Sanchayita Goswami, a film
maker from Dartford in Kent, which the audience admired greatly. She went to
ULFA territory, no doubt at great risk to herself, to give the public an
insight into the rebels' side of the story.
Dr. Ranjit Barua from Nottingham next started a quiz based on musical items
with the audience split up into groups. All the participants enjoyed it
thoroughly. Rishi Barua and Julie Sarmah helped him to conduct the quiz.
Ranjit wearing another hat was responsible for editing and producing a
flashy newsletter with snippets of interesting information.
After lunch, we had Assam Day Olympics organised by Leena Sharma from Leeds
and aptly assisted by Emmet Purtil, her brother-in-law from St.Albans.
Events included three-legged race, Japi throwing, Ladu on Spoon race. All,
young and old participated and enjoyed the event immensely.
Immediately after, a workshop on how to Bihu dance was run by Madhurima.
She formed a group to perform a Bihu dance prior the gala dinner. The boys
and girls with the traditional Assamese regalia looked smashing and they
delighted everyone with their impressive Bihu dance. Madhurima then gave a
professional rendition of Bihu dance which was a pleasure to watch.
Dr. Probir Brahma, General Secretary, gave a pre-dinner speech in which he
emphasized the importance of Assam day for all people originating from
Assam. The two invited guests were presented with bouquets of flowers in
After the sumptuous gala dinner, a dance competition dubbed strictly Bihu
dance drew many enthusiastic participants. Leena Sharma and Emmet Purtil
conducted the event. It was really joyful to watch the participants giving
their best in the competition. In the end, Himadri and Kalpita Hazarika won
Dr. Nagendra Sarmah, an ex-president from Stockport, gave the vote of
thanks. Last but not least, Dr. Nripen Barkataky, from Seaham, the master of
ceremony, was marvellous in the flawless running of the events over the two
days of celebration.
The Assam Day 2006 ended after the screening of the first Assamese film
Joymoti on the 28th morning.
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