The Asom Association Kuwait celebrated Rongali Bihu over two days on April 16 and May 14. The main Rongali Bihu function was celebrated as “Manas Robin Xondhiya” on May 14. The venue for the celebrations was the gorgeous Royal Ballroom of Asia Asia Restaurant in Kuwait City. The programme started at 7:15 PM with the felicitation of the Guests, Hon’ble Ambassador of India to Kuwait, His Excellency, Sri Ajai Malhotra, his wife Smt Ira Malhotra and the guest artists Sri Manas Robin and Sri Hemanta Borah followed by lighting of the ceremonial lamp by them. President of the Asom Association Kuwait, Mr. Bikash Jyoti Gogoi in his inaugural speech, welcomed the gathering and outlined the importance of this celebration. His Excellency Sri Ajai Malhotra in his speech lauded the efforts of the Association and remarked that India’s cultural diversity was the strength which sets it apart from any other country in this world. He also expressed his pleasure in seeing the display of handicrafts and artifacts from Asom and other north eastern states arranged as an exhibition by the duo of Debashis Kakoty and Lata Pandey Kakoty.
The annual Souvenir of the Association “Jetuka” edited and published by Mr. Dwaipayan Bora and Dr. Rifat Mannan was released by the Hon’ble Ambassador. He commended the effort and appreciated the available literary talent. He also distributed the prizes of the Drawing and Essay competitions to all winning children. Master Arnab Jyoti Gogoi and Miss Ananya Kashyap were the overall winners in the respective competitions.
The in-house cultural programme co-ordinated by Mr. Abhijit Sharma comprised of the chorus “Srimoyee Asomir” and “Biswar sonde sonde” sung by Anjali Rajkhowa, Ranita Dutta, Sharmistha Bhattacharya, Aruna Dutta, Rupalima Bardalaye, Dr. Ranjita Sarma, Parimita Barooah Bora, Debahuti Das, Nilakshi Bora, Mouchumi Sharma, Pranami Bhattacharya, Masum Rajkhowa, Pallabi Saikia, Geeta Rajkhowa, Mitali Goswami, Aghore Bhattacharya, Alok Das, Bijan Goswami and Anupam Rajkhowa which set the tone for the rest of the evening. Mr. Shyamal Barooah and Mr. Abhijit Sharma accompanied the singers on keyboard and guitar respectively to keep the audience spellbound. A scintillating performance of Husori was performed by the group comprising of Aghore Bhattacharya, Alok Das, Jayanta Saikia, Bijan Goswami, Anupam Rajkhowa, Rajib Rajkhowa, Basab Sarma, Nilakshi Bora, Masum Rajkhowa, Pranami Bhattacharya, Mouchumi Sharma and Parimita Barooah Bora under the guidance of Mr. Hirendranath Rajkhowa.
The children amply demonstrated their talents by performing classical (Tanaya), Assamese modern dance (Anchita, Shubhangi, Shreya, Gargi, Diksha, Khushi, Tanya, Tasha), Jhumur dance (Swareena, Sneha, Sanghamitra, Oshin, Ananya, Niki) and walking the ramp (Shubhankar, Shruti, Riha, Adi, Obhi, Arya, Ruhi, Adit). They put up their best performance and it was a treat to watch them perform.
A memento was presented to both Manas and Hemanta by Mamoni Gogoi, Pranita Devichoudhury and Anjali Rajkhowa, on behalf of the Association, in appreciation of their participation in the Rongali Bihu celebrations and as a token of our love and affection.
The cultural programme came to an end with the General Secretary Mr. Jayanta Bardalaye offering the vote of thanks.
After the in-house cultural programme, the stage was declared open for “Manas Robin Xondhiya” when the versatile singer, composer and music director Sri Manas Robin took center stage and drew the attention of all in the crowd. He was assisted by Sri Hemanta Borah from Mumbai. Sri Manas Robin had accepted the invitation of the Asom Association, Kuwait to travel to this gulf country to be a part of its Bihu celebrations. The Association was honoured to have him as a guest artiste for the first time and offered its hospitality to him. In his maiden appearance he showed his versatility in full measure as he sang from a whole range of Assamese songs, from the past and the present. He bonded well with the crowd as his playful Bihu numbers captivated the crowd. As he rolled out the latest Assamese hits everyone including adults and children trooped into the stage as they sang and danced to the tune of his music. About 110 persons attended this gala evening. As we remained engrossed in the programme, we failed to notice that it was time for dinner. The sumptuous dinner arranged by Mr. Ramen Deka and Mrs. Anjana Deka complete with a variety of dishes prepared to Assamese taste was the grand finale to the Celebrations.
The event on 16th April 2010 was held at the Al-Fintas Park where the Assamese families gathered for outdoor fun and games activities. The members were welcomed with a plateful of different varieties of pithas, larus and other snacks prepared by the ladies. The bright sunny afternoon in this expansive park was a perfect setting for the members to relax and network, while the children played to their heart's content.
Innovative games devised by Ms. Lata Pandey Kakoty and Mr. Jayanta Madhab Saikia were the attraction of the day. The children played the hopping race, marble-on-spoon race, relay race etc. There were lots of gifts for all children and everyone returned a winner.
Jalpan of doi, chira, kumal chaol, bora chaol, muri with gur and cream was served. The programme ended with a contributory dinner.
Parimita Barooah, Kuwait