Assam 2001, my impressions

Hi everyone!

Finally, I got back home yesterday after the Assam 2001 convention and a short vacation in New Jersey.

I would like to thank the organizers of the convention for their unparalleled dedication and hard work, in bringing the Assamese community together. I enjoyed Toronto a lot. The convention's site was exquisite. Being in downtown Toronto, right across from the busiest, party-lovingest King Street of Toronto, a stone's throw from Lake Ontario's water front, in the shadow of the 1815-foot tall CN Tower---Canada's most recognized icon and the tallest building in the world, was wonderful. In terms of the liveliness, the ambience and the festive mood, only Montreal, Quebec and London, England, can ever aspire to surpass Toronto, IMHO.

It was a modern facility where the convention was held. Extremely nicely kept meeting and program rooms, the luxury of individual micropohones during meetings, computerized everything, well-appointed hallways, and best of all, an eternal flame right outdoors. The small but blazing flame reminded me of the countless young Assamese lives lost in the past twenty years or so, in the "Troubles".

The people were great, the programming was the best that those assembled could present and very enjoyable. I loved the arrangement made for food. I don't think anywhere in the US, the Assamese people can take over a public food court, embrace it as own, and play Assamese songs in a downtown shopping mall. It felt so nice to hear Assamese music with the voices of Bhupen Hazorika, Khagen Mahanta and others piped out through the stereo system in the mall. I don't know how many others have experienced it, but to me the music in such a setting was divine, even if it was a background to the lively din of eating and chatting, and it was just one precious hour. Multi-culturalism thrives in Canada.

As far as the budget situation is concerned, the wisdom of one of the very few deficit-free Assamese conventions, and the fact that there is no need for "begging" for donations, must be acclaimed. We are a small community, and if we have to raise many thousands of donated dollars from a very small handful of generous individuals year after year after year, they are bound to tire from giving, and ultimately it is bound to dry up. The decision to have a convention where there is no need for the desperate raising of pre- and post-convention "chaandaa" is prudent and visionary.

Thank you all Toronto "natives". You put up a great show. You were all wonderful hosts. Hugs and kisses.

Just a parting plug:
Please try your best to come to the Assam 2002 convention in Colorado next year. We will work as hard as the hosts in Toronto, New Jersey, Houston, St. Louis, Chicago, San Jose, Atlantic City, Alabama, Florida, and many other locations before us. Give us your blessings and co-operation.

Love you all!

Jugal Kalita
Colorado Springs, Colorado