GUWAHATI, April 21 - This year, the Assam Association of Greater Chicago (AAGC) organised Rongali Bihu festivities on April 15 with an evening of music, dance, and excellent food. Assamese people in the greater Chicagoland area, including from places as far away as Urbana Champaign, Milwaukee, and Madison, Wisconsin gathered at the Holiday Inn in Schaumburg to participate in the merrymaking and feasting, a press release stated.
The cultural function began with a chorus singing O Mor Apunar Dekh, with all members of the audience standing to show respect to the state anthem of Assam. This was followed by an adult chorus harmoniously rendering Jyoti Prasad Agarwala�s Ture Mure Alokore Jatra. A kids chorus then presented an adorable rendition of Gose Gose Pati Dile. This was followed by a rich tapestry of dances and songs, with both the organisers and guests noting that the quality of the performances this year was significantly enhanced compared to the norm in a usual year. O P Meena, Consul for Information and Culture at the Indian Consulate (Chicago) addressed the gathering and extended best wishes for the celebration of Rongali Bihu. He was warmly received by the attendees and felicitated with a gamosa.
Songs presented ranged from immortal favourites like Jyoti Prasad Agarwala�s compositions to modern Assamese tunes by Zubeen Garg, and evergreen Hindi favourites to contemporary Bollywood hits. An expertly performed solo Bihu dance, an at-times fast-moving solo based on Bollywood tunes, and a graceful and rhythmic Goalparia folk dance by a trio of ladies highlighted the range of cultural expertise on hand, and were much appreciated by the crowd. Dances presented by the younger ones included a group dance by six-year olds to Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai, a solo Bihu dance to Abhishruti Bezbaruah�s Roi Roi Roti, a group dance by eight-to-ten year olds to Woh Kisna, a duo performing expertly to a Bollywood medley, and a duo of high schoolers skillfully swaying and gyrating to a Devdas number. Among the larger adult group dances were a traditional Bihu dance presented by a group of ladies �Bihutoli Divas� and a modern Assamese dance presented by a group of ladies calling themselves the �Chicago Divas�. Another highlight was the performance by the Indus Masti group.
Finally, a medley of classic songs in English, including Hotel California by The Eagles, closed out the cultural function. After an excellent dinner, most of the attendees stepped up on the stage to take part with verve and enthusiasm in the Mukoli Bihu.