Bihu festival begins at Silchar
SILCHAR, May 1: The two-day Rongali Bihu celebration began with varied programmes in order to make the festival of joy and youthfulness both eventful and memorable. The festival was heralded with the hoisting of flag of Rongali Bihu Sammilini, the organizer, in the premises of Tarun Ram Phukan Higher Secondary School here today, by its president Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta, Deputy Commissioner of Cachar. It was followed by a colourful procession which was flagged of by the Elementary Education Officer Phulendra Kalita. The procession was joined by a large number of people belonging to different linguistic groups, besides members of various cultural organizations.
The programme on the occasion was enlivened by dance sequences and Bihu songs to the accompaniment of rhythmic musical instruments. After moving through the main pathways, the procession terminated back at the school ground. An added attraction was the competition organized for best of Bihu dances which are best known as Moukuori, Bihukuori and Hunchari which was inaugurated by Dr Deben Sinha, president central committee of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha. The evening was made pleasant by cultural programme presented by the local and invited artistes.
Bihu is not only merriment. It is an effort to seek spiritual bliss. The Assamese welcome the advent of spring and agricultural season through Rongali Bihu or the Bihu of ecstasy. When the Bihu starts, young men and women in their best dresses spring up to spree of dance and song. Its domain is so expansive as it encompasses people of all ages and status. Its significance is best understood with regard to the blue hills, lush green fields, hissing gentle breeze, cascading water falls and the swirling rivers. It is in the fertile banks of rivers and rivulets that the cultural life of Assamese people owed its origin, sustenance and luxuriant growth.
It was on their banks that the Assamese did his earliest cultivation and courtship, sang his first song and rejoiced at the sight of flowers in myriad colours and their fragrance against the kaleidoscopic beauty of rising and setting sun, the sweet voice of cuckoo or ketaki. The day to day social life, the outlook and philosophy of life of the Assamese community gets meaningful manifestation in the celebration of Bihu, best reflected in pastoral songs. Cattle comes in for special care. Ideals for harmony and family welfare are better defined with emphasis on love and affection.
Bihu is the festival of optimism and spirit of revolution that is kindled in every mind and heart, the community is inspired to cherish the hope that as spring comes after winter, all that is pensive and gloomy will melt away with the sonorous beating of dhol, playing of pepa, Bihu songs and dance. This message of the greatest festival of Assamese community has come out from the addresses of Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta, president of the Sammilini, Phulendra Kalita, Dr Debendra Kumar Sinha, Prasanta Kumar Bhuiya, SP and Sanjib Medhi, working president. THE SENTINEL