GUWAHATI, April 21 - Rongali Bihu is fervently by Assamese people all over the globe. In Calgary in Canada also the non-resident Assamese wait eagerly with excitement to celebrate Rongali Bihu every year.
Rongali Bihu was celebrated on April 15 at the Scandinavian Community Centre by the Assam Association of Alberta (AAA) with pomp and show, a press release stated. More than 150 people attended the event. Unlike usual Rongali Bihu celebrations, this year�s event was lavish, elaborate and dignified. Delegates and guests from the Indian High Commission, Ottawa; Member of Parliament, Ottawa, city of Calgary Mayor, members from Rotary Club, Calgary and executive committee members from Calgary Marathi Association and participants not only within the Assamese community but from various other cultures like Peruvian, Chinese, Columbian, Scottish etc., attended. This global way of celebration of Bihu probably happened for the first time in North America.
The show began with the national anthems O Canada and Jana Gana Mana followed by welcome speech delivered by Arup Goswami, vice-president of the Assam Association of North America (AANA). Speeches by guest speaker Darshan Kang, Member of Parliament and Bidhu Skekhar, counsellor of Indian High Commission India, Ottawa followed. Each of them was welcomed by the executive committee members of the Assam Association of Alberta with a traditional japi and a gamosa.
The cultural programme began with a Jhumur dance by the children of members of the Assam Association of Alberta. The participants were Ananya Sarma, Maya Dutta Boruah, Riana Dutta, Rosewell Max Das, Rivan Dutta, Shivan Dutta, Dhruv Dadlani, Ivylene Deka, Hiya Dutta Boruah and Quartz Das. Next was a Highland dance by two little girls accompanied by anadult. It is a style of competitive solo dancing developed in Scottish Highlands. Next was a Huaylarsh dance by Peru dance group which was very eye catching because of the rhythm and colourful costumes. They also performed an Anaconda dance which is a fascinating traditional folk dance of Amazon region of Peru, dedicated to a water serpent that thrives in the Amazon river.
The Peru dance was followed by a beautiful line dance by a group of Chinese girls followed by a Latin dance by a Columbian group. Next was the Lion dance by White Brow Hap-Ging-Do Martial Arts and Lion Association. A lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance performed on big occasions, such as the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year for good luck. The last but not the least was the Bihu Hussori performed by a group of men and women from the Assam Association of Alberta. The foot tapping rhythmic beat of dhol, pepa, gogona couldn�t hold the audience onto their seats for long and finally all stood up to clap hands to catch the rhythm. The whole ambience was filled with Bihu mood just like in Assam.
The main attraction of the night was a documentary on Assam called Mahabahu Brahmaputra. The documentary covered most of the topics like Srimanta Sankaradeva, Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Dr Bhupen Hazarika, Pratima Barua Pandey, Rameshwar Pathak, Bishnu Rabha, Dehbisarok geet, Jhumur geet, tea garden, oil refinery, Kamakhya temple, Manas and Kaziranga national parks, muga silk, Assam silk, Majuli and satras, Rangghar, Karengghar, religions, bhaona, ojapali and many more. The documentary was produced by Manashi Goswami, made by Abhishruti Dutta Boruah and narrated by Sumana Barua. In between songs were performed by Saumya Barua, Prashanta Barthakur, Papori Barthakur, Aghore Bathacharya, Asif Saikia, Malika Rahman and Geetasree Gogoi Apte. The Master of Ceremonies (MC) Sumana Barua did an excellent job. Rimlee Dutta collected the artifacts from the community to display at the venue.
City of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi appearance in the hall made the crowd more excited. Mr. Nenshi was the recipient of the World Mayor prize in 2014 by the World Mayor project and also the most popular mayor in the country.
Food is always the heart of Assamese people. Calgary�s Assamese ladies too made scrumptious snacks like ghila pitha, narikolor laru, boga pitha, pati septa pitha, bora sawul etc., for the guests. Guests from different cultures enjoyed the Bihu snacks.