Two States Essay

9296 words - 37 pages

Bhutia Baichung

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Assam has a composite culture born of the confluence of various traditions. Its numerous tribes lend it a cultural identity that is multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious yet distinct from the rest of the country in terms of political history.
One factor that construes as the binding agent of the various Assamese people is its Bihu festival. Three varieties of it, the Bhogali, Rongali and Kati Bihu, the festival is a dogged representation of Assamese identity and its uniqueness. The local flavour of celebration, however, goes way beyond just the Assamese folklore with the large number ethnic tribes like Mising, Karbi, Boro Dimasa, Rabha, Tiwa, Garo, Jayantia etc. having their own distinctive cultural features, facets and forms. The sheer physical beauty of these tribal people, their intricately woven attire ensembles and the striking colors of their clothes coupled with the incredible landscape that they call their homeland makes the composition of Assam's demography one of the most desirably diverse in the world.
Bohag Bihu: Bohag Bihu is the spring time Bihu coming at seed-time. It also ushers in the Assamese New Year. It has an alternative name Rongali Bihu or the bihu of merriment, being associated youth, joy and mirth.
Magh Bihu is the harvest festival coming in winter and featuring big bonfires and feasts because of which it has the alternative name Bhogali Bihu or bihu of enjoyment.
Baisagu: Famous for its myriad of colours and merriment, `Baisagu' is generally celebrated by the Bodo-Kachari is in the month Baishakh or mid-April. It is the most cherished festival of the Bodos. The first day begins with the cow-worship. On the second day elderly members of the family offered respect. The supreme deity `Bathou' or Lord Shiva is also worshiped on this by offering him chicken and rice beer. There is age bar or sex bar dancing during this festival. The traditional musical instruments that are used in this dance festival are `Kham' (drum), `Jotha' (mnjari), `Khawbang' (Taal), `Gogona' (mouth-organ made of bamboo) and `Siphung' (flute). It is also customary at the end of Baishagu festival to offer community prayer at a particular place called, `garjasali'
Bohaggiyo Bishu: The most fascinating spring festival of the Deoris. The Deoris are one of the four divisions of the Chutiyas, which are believed to have been members of the great Bodo race. Like other springtime festivals, Bihagiyo Bishu is also observed durinf rnid-april at a stretch for seven days with unrestricted joy and merrymaking. The Bihsu must be preceded by a Than Puja and evidently it must start on Wednesday. There is also much socio religious significance and arrangements, to be made before the puja. The Deodhani dance forms the...

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