GUWAHATI, Jan 21 � The Assam Association, Delhi celebrated the Magh Bihu festival with traditional fervour at the Central Civil Secretariat grounds at Chanakyapuri on January 16. The celebrations began with �Uruka� which was celebrated on January 15.
A grand �bihutoli� was set up elaborately along with a stage for 1200 guests. The �bihu bhoj� (feast) was prepared throughout the night with chefs/cooks toiling to churn out the tastiest �masor tenga jul�, �murhi ghanto�, chicken curry, �bengena bhaja�, �payas� etc. �ghila pitha� and �bundiya bhujiya�, which are typical Assamese snacks, were arranged to give the feel of being in home State. A meji was erected with bamboo and firewood, and was set afire on Sunday morning to bid goodbye to the harsh winter of Delhi.
Early on Sunday morning, the association�s flag was unfurled by Dr Ranjit Baruah, president. The Assamese patriotic song O mor aponar desh� O mor chikunir desh� was sung with great patriotic zeal.
After that, the chief guest, Hari Sankar Brahma, Election Commissioner of India, was greeted. The guest of honour, Justice Dr Mukunda Kam Sharma, Justice of the Supreme Court of India, was received thereafter. Brahma lit the meji amidst chanting of mantras and invocations. Justice Sharma released Samayik, the association periodical, which is in its 21st year of continuous publication. Hiron Dutta introduced the contents.
The day was also celebrated as the �annual sports and activities� day. The children�s painting competition commenced from 10:30 am, followed by a football match between �President�s XI and General Secretary�s XI� Races too were held � children participated in running while the not-so-young ladies and gentlemen participated in walking races. �Tekeli bhanga� tug-of-war etc., were other competitions that extracted loud cheers from onlookers.
The �who�s who� of the Assamese society of NCR turned up for the annual event. Artists, journalists, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, students, homemakers - they were all there and in large numbers.
The games and sports-events had ended by 2:30 pm. Food was laid out and people queued up in an orderly manner. After lunch, a game of an Assamese version of �Antakshari� was held. It was followed by the prize distribution ceremony for the events held during the day. The president of the association, vice presidents, Manoj K Das and Rumi Sarmah and GS Tridib Saikia gave away the prizes. Students who had secured more than 90% in XII-Board examinations Priyanka Das (95%) and Chandan Jyoti Sarmah (93%) were also felicitated.
Later, a local Bihu team charged up the atmosphere with the spring dance. The celebrations ended with a round of tambola after the evening tea. General secretary, Tridib Saikia offered the vote of thanks to all the sponsors and persons who made the event possible through their generous monetary help or contributions in kind. This was stated in a press release.