The advent of spring brings the reverberating sweet voice of the cuckoo, the permeating fragrance of newly born “kopoou flowers”, and the most beautiful festival of Assam, Rongali or Bohag Bihu.
It derives its name from the Sanskrit word “vishuvam” when day and night are rendered equal through the vernal equinox. It concurs with the Assamese New Year in April and corresponds to the end of the month of Chaitra in the lunar calendar. People welcome the spring season and pray for a bountiful and rich harvest.
Rongali Bihu is a festival of joy and merriment with beautiful maidens dancing to the tune of “Dhol, Pepa, Gagana”, and sweet love songs sung by young boys all dressed in beautiful, eye-catching traditional attire.
Like every Assamese community around the world, people residing in Pune celebrated Rongali Bihu on May 2, 2009 at Sylet Mess Ground, Bombay Sapers under the banner of ASSAM CULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF PUNE, ACAP. The function was started traditionally with beautiful Husori followed by Diha Naam, performed by invited Bihu artists Someshwar Koch, Jayanta Bhuyan, Nipul Bora, Ridip Das Pabita Bora, Anup Boruah and Ritu Bora from Jamugurihaat, Tezpur, Assam, followed by “Samuhik Aasirwaad “ given to all the people. Bonti Prajwalan was done by Honorable guests, Advocate Nilesh Nikam, Councillor, Pune Municipal Corporation and Bhanupratap Barge, Senior Inspector of Police. A welcome speech was given by Advocate Dr. A.K Borthakur, President ACAP. Honorable guests spoke about the rich culture of Assam and friendship between people of Assam and Maharashtra. Guests were felicitated by traditionally rich Assamese Gamosha.
The attractive celebration was garlanded by Goalporiya lokageet by Pranab Saikia, Adhunik Geet by Rohan Gogoi and Utpal Burman, and a striking fusion dance named “Pohar” performed by Devika Borthakur and troupe. “Sangeetalokhya” (a mixing of JIkir, Bagorumba, Zumur, Missing Bihu, Borgeet, Biyanaam, Bihu) was performed by a group from Tezpur, Assam. When the beautiful maidens performed Bihu dance, encouraged by love songs of young boys, the electrifying performance enthused the crowd to rise to their feet and dance to the tunes and the sound of the “Dhol”.
At the end of the cultural component, people unwinded at a lavish “BHOJ” dinner with fish and special “Aam Tok” made up of mango with various other delicacies.
By Pranjal Saikia, Pune