Guwahati, Monday, April 16, 2012
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Rongali Bihu knows no cultural barriers
Staff reporter
 GUWAHATI, April 15 – Ramesh Yadav, Mohammad Alam and Uma Adani come from very different backgrounds, but the trio is united in their love of Rongali Bihu. This time of the year, it is a must for them to head for the Bihu functions, and brave squalls or rains to enjoy the sights and sounds far removed from their traditional culture.

Ramesh, the son of a milkman, from Bihar, now based at Santipur, is glued to Bihu songs which he does not understand completely. “So what if I cannot understand the songs, the drum beats and accompanying music is very exciting,” Ramesh remarked.

He was present in the Paschim Guwahati Bihu Sanmilan along with his friends. Even after they got drenched in the rains, they appear to have enjoyed their tryst with Bihu songs and dances. The next morning, Ramesh and his friends were planning to visit another venue, this time with umbrellas by their side.

Mohammad Alam, who owns a workshop at Kumarpara, has a fascination for tribal dances performed during the Bihu functions. “I came to know about the different tribes, their dresses and their dances…,” he mentioned.

He, however, detested the behaviour of a section of youths who spoiled the festive spirit by getting inebriated and causing trouble in Bihu venues. The beautiful atmosphere is ruined by these youths, who are also into drunk driving and eve teasing.

Uma had become familiar with Assamese songs and traditional garments during her school days. She said, “Assam is unique in having such a rich repertoire of music and traditional wear. Both are on splendid display during Rongali Bihu. I will recommend any traveller to enjoy at least a session of Bihu in Assam.”

It may be mentioned that all of them have heard songs of Dr Bhupen Hazarika, and were impressed by his singing. They expressed their sadness over his death, and agreed that his absence will be more strongly felt during Rongali Bihu.

There are many more like Uma, Alam and Ramesh who come from different cultures, who reveal their love of Rongali Bihu. The festival that means so much for the Assamese now appeals to a wider section of people.

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