Bhogali Bihu, Silpi Divas celebrated in UK

The function was organised by Asam Sahitya Sabha UK (ASSUK). It was a cold and rainy British winter evening, but most of the members of Assamese community, old and young including those who were born and brought up here, attended the function to make it a grand success.

Manjira Chowdhury, secretary of ASSUK, welcomed the gathering. Gagan Hazarika, president, gave a heart- warming speech on Bhogali Bihu, its originality and importance in Asomiya society. He also paid tributes to Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala and his manifold contributions towards the enrichment of Asomiya language and culture leading to conferring the title Rupkonwar and celebrate Silpi Divas on January 17, the day he died at the tender age of 48.

He said, we should look into Jyotiprasad’s role and his contributions to the Asomiya language, literature - culture with a broad outlook.

Lahori Barthakur, vice president of ASSUK conveyed Bihu greetings and wished everyone a happy and peaceful New Year. She lit the lamp in front of the portrait of Jyotiprasad Agarwalla.

Barthakur on behalf of ASSUK, paid homage to the artists, Hari Barkakoti, Anima Bhattacharya, Ashim Hazarika, who passed away last year.

She also paid homage to the unfortunate, poor and innocent victims, who were killed recently by militants in Asom. ASSUK strongly condemned the inhuman atrocities, which are bringing disgrace to the State of Asom.

Prabin Hazarika, the younger brother of Dr Bhupen Hazarika read two of his self-composed poems.

Dr Anil Ranjan Barthakur, delivered a speech on Magh Bihu on the bank of Kalang river in Nowgong. He said that the January 13 is a great day for Asom, as on this very day in 1899, Chandrakumar Agarwalla, Lakshminath Bezboruah, Hemchandra Goswami saved our culture, tradition and language by publishing Jonaki magazine. That was the beginning of Jonaki era of Assamese literature. He also paid high tributes to Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad, who was ‘Jyoti’ for Asomiya society.

Prof Khanin Pathak, who came all the way with his family from Papua New Guinea, gave an emotional speech. Dr Pathak was very pleased to find that the Assamese culture, tradition and language was being preserved in the UK.

The attractions of the cultural show were Bharat Natyam presentation by Reema Kakoty, Bihu dance by Samyami Chowdhury and Debasish Baishya, Bihu songs, Rabha and Jyoti Sangeet and Goalparia Lokageet performed by Mayapee Chowdhury-Hilldrup, Geetika Saikia, Malabika Sharma, Suravi Lahon, Pushpa Hazarika and Dr Kumud Sharma.

Kamal Hazarika’s own and original composition Chenai Moi Jaongai was highly appreciated by the audience.

The Bihu feast was enjoyed by the whole gathering in the evening. The guests were entertained with hot cups of tea and Doi sira, ‘pitha’, ‘laru’ mahprasad etc which were made by Manjira Chowdhury, Kunja Mahanta Dr Dwija Mahanta, Reena Hazarika and Lahori Barthakur.

Manjira Chowdhury’s ‘machar tenga’ (fish curry) and Dr Satish and Christine Mahanta’s ‘bengena Pitika’ (aubergine mash) were greatly enjoyed by all.

The vote of thanks was given by Manjira Chowdhury to all the participants, helpers and the audience who contributed to the success of Silpi Divas and Bhogali Bihu.

\\"The Assam Tribubne\\",25.01.2007