Dilip Kumar Borah, Dubai

Rongali Bihu was celebrated by the Assam Society, Dubai on 12th & 13th April last at the Ain Al Fayda Resort, Al Ain, about 150 Kms from Dubai. The overnight program was attended by more than 80 from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman and Oman. It was for the first time that the Assamese Community of United Arab Emirates celebrated the advent of the Assamese New Year in a big way together with their counterparts from Oman.

The main feature of the Bihu celebrations was a cultural function held on the evening of 12th April, where local talents from both UAE and Oman participated. It was an evening where ladies with 'Mugar Mekhela' and gents with 'Fulam Gamosa' were a common sight which made everyone feet 'at home', in spite of being thousands of kilometres away from their motherland.

The function started with the traditional number welcoming Bihu- 'Otikoi Senehar Mugare Mohura ..' appropriate for the occasion. Col. (Retd.) Mahananda Medhi delivered the welcome address on behalf of Dr. Prasenjeet Kakati, the Honorary President of the Society. The two and half hour long program which continued till midnight included chorus ('Asom Amaar Rupahi'), Bihu Dance by Children, Modern Songs in Assamese, Hindi & English,  Children's Dance Drama  ('Ek Asil Roja'),  Instrumental numbers in keyboard and guitar, Quiz & Mimicry,  a political satire ( Joi Aai Asom'), a drama ('Iti Tor Ma' - an Assamese adaptation of 'Tumhari Amrita' by Dr. Utpal Kataky), Assamese Qawali (composed by Arman Hazorika) and Folk Songs from Goalpara. Hiren Sarma from Oman spoke on the occasion about the relevance of Bihu celebrations for the young generation; he also emphasised upon  the need of forming associations of the Assamese community in the Gulf Countries.

The performance of Soumya Narayan Barua with his melodious voice to the accompaniment of the traditional 'dotara' in renedering popular 'Goalpariya Lokageet' was indeed outstanding. Children too showed their talents in performing the Bihu Dance and putting up the Dance Drama 'Ek Asil Roja'. Dr. Santi Medhi offered 'Solagor Sorai'; Nina Kataky did a wonderful job of compering for the function. The evening's program concluded well past midnight with 'Mukoli Bihu', after singing of 'O Mor Aponar Des'.

Next day's program started with community breakfast which included traditional Assamese snacks like 'Narikolor Laroo', 'Komal Saul' and 'Doi-Chira-Mithoi', arranged by Sanjana Borkotoky. The breakfast session also provided a forum for the participants to interact with each other and revive memories of yesteryears. Games & other activities for children and adults were highlights of the rest of the day's program.

Lunch had an Assamese surprise in the form of 'Rou Machar Tenga' which was an instant hit with everyone; Sumon Bordoloi along with Anupal Phookan and Sanjit Bordoloi took the trouble of preparing this Assamese delicacy for the gathering.

The celebrations ended in the evening with the distribution of prizes and gifts followed by photo session. Photographs of the entire program can be viewed in the photo album.