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Kiwi scholars hail Assam�s heritage, culture

By Shambhu Boro
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TEZPUR, Jan 18 � �The rich Assamese culture, its art forms, traditions and heritage are quite incomparable to those in other parts of the world. It has a unique quality. Whoever comes here he/she must be overwhelmed by it. The people here are so simple and they know how to show honour to others, heritage and culture always vivid in their hearts.� It was an opinion with high appreciation of a research scholars team from the University of Otago and the University of Auckland, New Zealand, made at the historic Nikamul Satra here on Saturday while interacting with the media persons.

The Professor of Dance Studies, University of Otago, Barbara Snook, who has been visiting different heritage places of Assam with a five-member team that includes Alison East, Lebeca Wilson, Lucia and Laura Tu, applauding Assam and the Northeast as a �sacred� place, further said that the very mention of this word brings to one�s mind the delightful blend of culture, heritage and faiths and beliefs of the numerous ethnic tribes residing in the region.

�The culture and tradition of the State, its music, dance and literature are all interwoven into the social fabric and cross all barriers of caste, creed and religion... In fact, a mention of the rich tradition of the State, without referring to the diverse lifestyle, arts and crafts, fairs and festivals of the people residing therein, would be as good as incomplete,� she said.

However, stressing better communication in the region, another research scholar, Professor Alison East said that as per studies, the diversified culture of Assam can also be attributed to the influence of the different dynasties and empires in the region in different periods. �Around 45 different languages are spoken by different ethnic communities within Assam, yet people here are one signifying the meaning of unity in diversity,� she said.

�Assam has a rich and ancient history, the foundation of which can be found in the Vedic and Tantric literatures, Assamese folklore and Buddhist literature. There has been a confluence of people of the Indo-Aryan, Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman origin in the State and this has led to the currently existing blend of culture and tradition therein. Through the manuscripts and medieval texts found in the different regions of the State, we have noticed that there is a lot of potentiality to work in the field of art and culture and heritage, but there must be a positive approach from the local people and the government departments concerned. Then only its unmatched art and culture and the heritage would be placed in the international platform which will undoubtedly reflect the dignity of Assam and its people as well,� she said.

The team with a mission to delving into the depth of the art and culture and heritage of Assam and the Northeast is in the region under the banner of a national NGO Kalpa and is being led by Anwesha Mahanta. It arrived in Assam on January 10 with a twenty-day programme and has till date visited Sualkuchi, Guwahati and a few heritage places.

The team�s coordinator Anwesha Mahanta said the research scholars would next visit the Kaziranga National Park, river island Majuli, besides some tribal villages of Assam. The team will also hold a workshop on creative ways of understanding dance in Guwahati.

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Kiwi scholars hail Assam�s heritage, culture

TEZPUR, Jan 18 � �The rich Assamese culture, its art forms, traditions and heritage are quite incomparable to those in other parts of the world. It has a unique quality. Whoever comes here he/she must be overwhelmed by it. The people here are so simple and they know how to show honour to others, heritage and culture always vivid in their hearts.� It was an opinion with high appreciation of a research scholars team from the University of Otago and the University of Auckland, New Zealand, made at the historic Nikamul Satra here on Saturday while interacting with the media persons.

The Professor of Dance Studies, University of Otago, Barbara Snook, who has been visiting different heritage places of Assam with a five-member team that includes Alison East, Lebeca Wilson, Lucia and Laura Tu, applauding Assam and the Northeast as a �sacred� place, further said that the very mention of this word brings to one�s mind the delightful blend of culture, heritage and faiths and beliefs of the numerous ethnic tribes residing in the region.

�The culture and tradition of the State, its music, dance and literature are all interwoven into the social fabric and cross all barriers of caste, creed and religion... In fact, a mention of the rich tradition of the State, without referring to the diverse lifestyle, arts and crafts, fairs and festivals of the people residing therein, would be as good as incomplete,� she said.

However, stressing better communication in the region, another research scholar, Professor Alison East said that as per studies, the diversified culture of Assam can also be attributed to the influence of the different dynasties and empires in the region in different periods. �Around 45 different languages are spoken by different ethnic communities within Assam, yet people here are one signifying the meaning of unity in diversity,� she said.

�Assam has a rich and ancient history, the foundation of which can be found in the Vedic and Tantric literatures, Assamese folklore and Buddhist literature. There has been a confluence of people of the Indo-Aryan, Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman origin in the State and this has led to the currently existing blend of culture and tradition therein. Through the manuscripts and medieval texts found in the different regions of the State, we have noticed that there is a lot of potentiality to work in the field of art and culture and heritage, but there must be a positive approach from the local people and the government departments concerned. Then only its unmatched art and culture and the heritage would be placed in the international platform which will undoubtedly reflect the dignity of Assam and its people as well,� she said.

The team with a mission to delving into the depth of the art and culture and heritage of Assam and the Northeast is in the region under the banner of a national NGO Kalpa and is being led by Anwesha Mahanta. It arrived in Assam on January 10 with a twenty-day programme and has till date visited Sualkuchi, Guwahati and a few heritage places.

The team�s coordinator Anwesha Mahanta said the research scholars would next visit the Kaziranga National Park, river island Majuli, besides some tribal villages of Assam. The team will also hold a workshop on creative ways of understanding dance in Guwahati.