This was another busy season for Jupi Das of Harrisburg, PA, who specializes in the craft of paper cutting or Scherenrchnitte. This year, she attended several shows in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Lancaster in Pennsylvania, Buffalo in New York and Bloomsberg in New Jersey. She likes the appreciation that she receives from the art lovers in these shows and has also been successful in selling some expensive pieces of her artwork. Some of her best art sells for over $1,500.
AFNA (Assam Foundation of North America) has been conducting a fundraising drive to collect money for AAROHAN, an excellence center for children in Guwahati, a project started by Late Dr. Bhabendranath Saikia. The trust needs about Rs. 30 Lakh (Approx $65,000) to equip the building with minimum facilities so that it can be opened in February 2004. Please make your check payable to AFNA, mark it for "Aarohan", and mail it to: 44963 Lemont Road, Canton, MI 48187.
To accommodate the needs of the growing number of young people in the Assamese community in Northeastern USA, an information-rich cultural program was organized at the Bridgewater Public Library on August 23, 2003. "This is a program for kids of various age groups below 16 years old", according to the organizers: Satyajit Dutta, Purandar Sarmah, Sankumani Sarmah and Sanjay Saikia.
Assam has a very rich literary history. Assamese authors have been publishing books for several hundred years. For example, Assamese is known to have written literature starting the thirteenth century although the first printed books were published only in the early 1800’s. Before the Europeans brought the printing press to Assam, thousands of books were written in Assam. The books were handwritten painstakingly on especially prepared paper from locally available resources.
Assam Day 2003, held on 23rd and 24th August 2003, in Brooklands Hotel, Barnsley, Yorkshire, was well attended by many Assamese living in the UK and was a grand success. It was a colorful, relaxing and enjoyable weekend where the old and the young participated in open forums, debates, discussions and cultural activities with great enthusiasm.
Amid great enthusiasm, festivity and delicious food, the Assamese community of North America held its annual get-together, Assam 2003, to celebrate its heritage of Assamese language and culture, in St. Louis. Assam 2003 coincided with US Independence Day celebrations as well as the bicentennial commemoration of the expedition by Lewis & Clark into America's West.