GUWAHATI, Feb 2 � The Assamese people from all over the United Kingdom with their friends, relatives and visitors from Assam congregated at Freer Community Centre, Leicester on January 17 to celebrate the Bhogali Bihu and Silpi Divas. The visitors were welcomed with Bihu jalpan of doi, sira, laru, pitha, etc., an e-mail received here stated.
The afternoon started with traditional games and sports with the Bihu music on and everyone joining in it. The evening started with the lighting of the lamp by Anil Barthakur, paying tributes to Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Lakshminath Bezbaroa, Bhupen Hazarika, Bishnu Rabha and other great artistes of Assam whose contribution to Assamese art and culture is priceless.
Lahori Barthakur, president, Asam Sahitya Sabha, UK (ASSUK), welcomed the audience and explained the significance of celebrating Bhogali Bihu. Manjira Chowdhury, ASSUK secretary paid tribute to Dr Samudra Sharma, a retired consultant psychiatrist from Scotland who passed away recently. A minute�s silence was observed for the departed soul.
Khogeswar Lahon spoke about Aideu Handique, the first Assamese actress, her ordeal and her life-long struggle. Four-year-old Niyor recited the poem Najano tomak kot asa Prabhu, while Tarun Kumar Chowdhury recited a medley of selected poems of Lakshminath Bezbaruah and Geeta Borooah recited a poem of Indreswar Barthakur. Suravi Gohain Lahon then presented two Assamese songs.
In the function, Prabin Hazarika, Bitopi Dutta and Mayapee Chowdhury recited their self-composed poems. Sibling duo Rishii Chowdhury and Samyami Chowdhury Sarma entertained the audience with their creative composition of flute, songs and tabla, while Lipika Deka, Jharna Miri and Pankhi Medhi danced to the tune. Six-year-old Nishka also enthralled everyone with her Bihu dance.
There was also a raffle draw among the audience. Manjira Chowdhury offered the vote of thanks and a sumptuous feast of Assamese delicacies brought an end to the celebration.