GUWAHATI, Sept 11 - The United Assam Association of the UK (UAAUK) celebrated the 15th Assam Day on August 29-30 in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, a press release received here stated.
Richard Blurton, the curator of the South Asian section at the British Museum, who was the chief guest at the annual event, spoke on the culture and tradition of Majuli and Sankardeva. Extolling the beauty of a Chinese silk jacket, lined with a strip of the famed Vrindavani Vastra, which will feature in an exhibition at the British Museum from January 2016, he exclaimed �It is a coat with a silver lining.�
Blurton explained that the lining shows images of Lord Krishna and being inside the coat, it was protected from light, helping retain its vivid colours. The Vrindavani Vastra, a nine-metre-long cloth, was woven in Assam under the guidance of Srimanta Sankardeva.
Blurton, who has made several visits to Majuli during his trips to Assam, described the cloth as �one of the British Museum�s great textile treasures�.
�These visits have been built around the satra culture of Majuli,� he told the more than 100 guests assembled at the dinner. �Twice I visited the place at the time of Raas Leela, a festival where through plays, believers depict the life of Lord Krishna. It was a remarkable experience.�
While Blurton described Assam�s religious and industrial heritage, Sunita Khaund Bhuyan and her fellow guest artists led a celebration of Assam�s musical culture.
Bhuyan, a highly respected violinist and singer, fused Bihu folk, Indo-Jazz fusion, Bollywood and Assamese Bihu during two performances that had audience on its feet.
Benu Kakati, the president of the UAAUK described Bhuyan�s performance as �the jewel in the crown � a cultural show which turned out exceedingly well�.
James Mellor, one of the guests at the event in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, said, �Sunita and her ensemble�s music was so mesmerising that two people who were at a wedding being held in the hotel asked if they could come and see them perform.�
Bhuyan was accompanied by Bhushan Pachure, a renowned tabla player, and her son, Ronojit, who is learning western classical piano.
She said she was proud of her son following in her footsteps. �I am happy as well as nervous about being able to give him the confidence and guidance he needs,� she said. �It�s a tough life as an artist, especially if it�s your bread and butter.�
Other highlights during the cultural show, which was organised by the Assocation�s new cultural secretary, Gaurav Goswami, included a collaboration between the singers Sumana Basu and Ritwik Raychaudhuri, whose repertoire ranged from Indian folk to the latest Hindi hits. Several local Assamese artists also performed.
A special award was presented to Kamal Hazarika, a regular broadcaster on All India Radio in Shillong and Kolkata before he became one of the first Assamese to move to Britain in the late 1950s.