Assamese get-together

Hi Everybody:

We just got home from the great Assamese get-together at Orlando, Florida held at the beautiful and elegant setting at Disney Coronado Springs resort, which we enjoyed thoroughly.

Here are some of the highlights of the event (from my point of view as a member of the audience):

There was no small-time politics and upstaging one another at all. Thus there was no tension and each and everyone was having plain and simple fun. It was truly a "community event" where the community was the focus, as opposed to a convention which is consumed by itself.

Even though there is only one Assamese family in the Orlando area, there are many out-of-town Assamese Floridians (and also from other states) who organized or helped in this great event for the guests to have some down to earth fun. It made us feel like it was taken care of by 'local people' - we were totally "at home".

Some from the crowd like, Ganesh Bora, Utpal Brahma, Partha Gogoi, Prakash Deka, Abani Sharma, Jukti Kalita, Priyankoo Sharma, Jugal Kalita, Kamal Sharma etc., made the event much more livelier by their frequent jokes and the use of their sense of humor at the right times.

Both professional artists (Elora Bora Singh and Jitul Sonowal) from Assam gave great performances as expected. We had the experience of personally talking and dining with them - never get this opportunity even back home. The guest artists were not just great performers, but were also able to mix and mingle with us freely.

Before going to Orlando, we had often heard of many of the names involved and thought they were larger than life, but were pleasantly surprised that none of them had any airs about them.

To add to this, we enjoyed and were extremely proud to be able to enjoy the performances of great artists from the US itself. To mention some are: Rabin & Arundhotee Goswami, Abani Sarma and his granddaughter little Ranikiran, Priya Saikia, Anjana Bordoloi, Umesh Tahbildar, Biraj Bhuyan, Chumki Gogoi, Ruprekha Bhuyan, Lona Sarma, Leoni Borkakati, Preetha Kamath, Priya Saikia, Bihu - wonderfully danced by little Jahnabi Das, Rick Bhuyan, Nick Bhuyan, Nikumani Bhuyan, Surabhi Kalita, Jukti Kalita, Nilakshi Thakuria, Jayanta Thakuria, Malabika Brahma, Moushumi Chatterjee, Anuradha Deka, Please forgive me if I missed any performer's name. MCs: Rick and Nick Bhuyan, Pari Saikia, Santanu and Moushumi Chatterjee kept the show moving at a good pace.

Rabin Goswami's presentation was just mesmerizing. His personality filled with humility and politeness won't give you a clue that he possesses a great voice and the quality of a professional singer, unless and until you hear him singing.

The food was just great. The host families went out of the way to provide the whole gathering with sumptuous, nutritious meals of a medley of American, Italian, Indian and Mexican (as opposed to the regular oily Indian restaurant food) dishes. They even paid attention to the details where vegetarians like me had a wide choice - gestures like this reinforces the feeling that each and everyone is welcome.

Then there was this unique arrangement where guests were taken by bus (a nice scenic drive) to a local Indian restaurant for a grand dinner. It was like fun mixed with food.

Before I forget, we also had the pleasure of viewing a short film by Ms. Sanchayita Sharma, "The Passage", about a poor family and their life "amidst the crisis of insurgency". The film is bases on the award winning short story by Dr. Indira Goswami.

We also got to see Sanjoy Hazarika's A River's Story, the Quest for the Brahmaputra, directed by Jahnu Barua. It depicted the everyday life of all the people of the countries through which the great river flows.

The gathering was also able to enjoy some of the outstanding paintings of Mahesh da (Baishya) and Ms. Jupi Tara Das' art (paper cutting) creation. Mahesh da also took the extra time to educate us to the essence of water-color painting. The discourse was not just educational but also enabled many of us to appreciate painting and art in a more knowledgeable way. There was also a beautiful exhibiton of Some of you missed the event because of some reason or another, but we really wish you all had been there. Like us, I am sure you too would have throughly enjoyed the fun-filled events. We made many new friends, and touched base with a whole lot more.

One thing other meets in future might want to learn from Assam 2005 is the spirit of comradrie and kinship and the utter lack of groupism, that was felt throughout the 3-day event. Its not just enough to put up a lot pomp and glitz, but the main reason we need to gettogether once in a while whether it's for Bihus or for other events is to develop and enhance the coheshiveness of Porbaxi Oxomiya.

Young children too had their share of fun in the sports and picnic - many of them were also enjoying it in a grand way at Disney.

Dr. Birendra Gohain, Commissioner to the CM of Assam, was the keynote speaker on Sunday. He touched upon a number of important issues involving Assam.

We heartily congratulate all the people involved in Assam 2005 for making the event a grand success.

Thank you.

- A. Sarangapani, Houston, Texas. USA on AssamNet

Please check website: www.assam2005.org