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Assamese Community in UAE celebrates Rongali Bihu

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The Assamese Community in the     United Arab Emirates (UAE) cel    ebrated Rongali Bihu on 10th April, a couple of days ahead of the actual festival, with traditional fervor and gaiety.

A record number of over 200 people gathered at the Metropolitan Palace Hotel Dubai for a cultural evening featuring popular guest artistes from Assam as well as local pool of talents from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. The guest artistes to have graced the occasion coming all the way from Assam were Gayatri Mahanta, Pabitra Margherita and Krishnamani Chutia.

Senior Dubai resident Santi Medhi, of Welcare Hospital Dubai, welcomed the gathering on behalf of the organizers, Assam Society, UAE. Two other senior citizens of Dubai, Col (Retd) Mahananda Medhi and Utpal Kataky welcomed the guest artistes with the traditional gamosa and souvenirs.
Popular artiste of Assamese Cinema and TV, Gayatri Mahanta excelled in her performance first with Xatriya Dance followed by Bihu Dance. Her husband, Pabitra Margherita, who is a well-known actor, producer and director, shared his feelings of elation to be with the culturally active Assamese audience of UAE.
Another star attraction of the program was the guest artiste Krishnamani Chutia. Famous for his record selling album ‘Chal Gori’, he entertained the audience in his inimitable style with a variety of Assamese and folk songs, with the audience literally dancing to his tunes.

The cultural function got off to an early start with Bihu Dance competition with performances by Arushi Das, Kabya Chaliha, Netraa Dutta and Nishita Barkataki. The award winners were Kabya Chaliha and Netraa Dutta.

One of the highlights of the program was the Hussori performance. The hussori troupe was led by Dayananda Gogoi and Siba Bora with dhol, Bibhuti Brata Sharma with khol, Dhiraj Tumung on toka and Sumon Bordoloi on the traditional cymbal, supported by Sandeep Bhagowati, Dipak Tumung, Shyamoli Pathak Bora, Dimple Bhagowati and Suman Baruah.

A chorus, ‘Bishwar Chande Chande’, was performed by Parul Hazarika, Rokshana Hazorika, Dimple Bhagowati, Pinaki Bayan, Sangeeta Bhagowati, Suman Baruah, Dayananda Gogoi, Sumon Bordoloi, Salim Juber, Dipak Tumung, Arman Hazorika with the accompaniment by Siba Bora on the tabla, Dhiraj Tumung and Arindom Baruah on guitar, Shyamoli Pathak Bora on keyboard, Saumen Bhattacharjee on bongo and Ashim Bora on  jhunuka.

Modern Assamese songs were performed by Arman Hazorika, Momy Dowerah and Sudipta Das, while young Shirin Dutta performed a Hindi song from ‘Taare Zamin Par’.

Sudipta Das also performed a scintillating dance to the tune of a medley of Bhupen Hazarika’s songs of yesteryears.
Children from Dubai, Ajman and Abu Dhabi got together to perform a lively dance ‘Gaonr lora’ ­the participants being Yasir Pervez Ali, Netraa Dutta, Anjali Chorei and Arushi Das.

Anjali Chorei from Abu Dhabi also performed a lively Jhumoor Dance . – a folk dance of the teagarden community from Assam.

A skit performed by the Abu Dhabi team of Bibhuti Brata Sharma, Bikram Baruah, Sumanto Dutta, Dhrujyoti Chaliha, Dharmananda Mazumdar, Sthabirjeet Chaliha, Prashanta Mahanta reflected the fall out of the current financial crisis felt in the Emirates.

Sound and light for the show were managed by Partha Pratim Goswami, while instrument support for various cultural items was provided by Shyamoli Pathak Bora (keyboard), Padmaneel Lahkar, Arindam Baruah and Dhiraj Tumung (guitar), Siba Bora (tabla and dhol), Saumen Bhattacharjee (Bongo), Dayananda Gogoi (Dhol), Ashim Bora (‘Jhunuka’).

The programme was ably compeered by Debahuti Bora and Samhita Borpujari – both first timers for such an event in UAE.

The memorable moments of the Bihu celebrations were captured thru’ her lens by Ipsita Barua with a professional touch.

The 4th edition of Probaxi Bihuwan, the souvenir of Assam Society (UAE), Dubai was unveiled by Dr. (Mrs.) Sumati Changkakati the same evening.

Prizes were distributed to the winners of the Drawing competition organized on the eve of Rongali Bihu, the winners of which were:

Arushi Das (1st prize In 3­6 years group)
Netraa Dutta (2nd prize in 3­6 years group)
Abhirup Bhattacharya (1st prize in 7­10 years group)
Anjali Chorei (2nd prize in 7­10 years group)
Niharika Dutta (1st prize in 10+ years group)

The dinner organized at the hotel premises had Assamese flavor too – with helpings of Rou Fish Fry and Muri Ghanta, courtesy Anupal Phookan – a Dubai based Assamese entrepreneur.
This is the 11th year that the Assam Society, Dubai, has organized this event, having started in 1999 with a two-day outdoor programme at the Bin Majid Beach Resort in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

This year’s cultural event and the Probaxi Bihuwan were sponsored by Ajmal Perfumes, Emirates NBD Bank, Jamal Al Ghurair Group/Al Khaleej Sugar, Ikon Advertising, Ajmal Real Estate, Data Direct, Ford, Colgate Palmolive, Home Centre, Citibank, Art of Living, MediaEdge:CIA, Al Shaer Advertising, Al Murshidi Perfumes, Net Freight Services, ‘Xobdo.org’, World Link and Jaffrey Zaman.

The photographs of the function can be viewed at the website of the Society at www.assamdubai.org or http://community.webshots.com/user/borahdxb.

A new look website of the Society is expected to be launched shortly with efforts from Syed Wakil and Rashid Ahmed.

Dilip Borah
Dubai