Cultural Life in Asom

 

A Treasure House Of Asom`s Cultural Heritage

Tezpur`s contribution to art, culture, literature and particularly to the freedom struggle has earned for it a unique niche in the history of Asom. Chandra Kumar Agarwalla, Ananda Agarwalla, Dandi Kalita and a score of others enriched Assamese literature.

"Rup Konwar" Jyoti Prasad the doyen of Assamese art and culture was an artist, poet, dramatist, lyricist, filmmaker and a fearless freedom fighter. In 1942, for the first time in the entire British India, the Tricolour was hoisted in the police station at Gahpur, a quite town under Sonitpur district. Fourteen-year-old Kanaklata braved British bullets and died holding the national flag aloft over here.

 

Asom - the meeting ground of diverse culture

Nestled beneath the Sub-Himalayan range of hills in the North and North East is the state of Asom in India. Asom is encircled by the Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal. Asom - the enchanting sangrila in the North East of India, is a mixing pot where culture, heritage, tradition, lifestyle, faith and belief of her Aryan & Non-Aryan, numerous tribes & sub-tribes, Mongoloids & Australoids, drawn from various hives at different points of time have gone into form the Assamese culture - a fascinating and exotic recipe of delightful flavour. The culture of Asom is a rich tapestry infused with multicoloured yarns of distinguished heritage of all the races that populate her.
 

The People of Asom

The people of Asom are in fact the result of fusion of people from different racial stocks who migrated to Asom down the ages. The Assamese population can be divided into two broad groups : the non-tribal people who constitute the majority and the tribals.

The Australoids were the first to come to the land; the Mongoloids, came here in a series of migrations from the north, north-east and south-east; and the Caucasoids who came from the west by the valley formed by the Ganges and the Brahmaputra.
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Today, the people of the State can be broadly identified and classified as the Non-Tribals or Plains People. The people of the plains generally live in the plains and the Tribals mainly live in the hills. Though, Asom has a valuable tribal population in the plains too.

The state is peopled by a large number of tribal groups; major among them being the Boro-Kacharis, the Deori, the Misings, the Dimassas, the Karbis, the Lalungs, the Rabhas etc. Ahkhomiya or Assamese is the language of Asom. Asom has a reputation for warm hospitality. People of Asom are homely, charming and openhearted.
 

Fairs & Festivals of Asom

The superb blend of heritage extracted from numerous races have made Asom the home to the most colourful festivals at once blazing, compelling and mesmerizing. Most of the festivals celebrated in Asom have their root in the varied faith and belief of its people. Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Swaraswati Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kalipuja, Shivaratri are some of the major festivals celebrated by the Hindus of Asom. Those of Islamic faith celebrate Idd and Muharram. Similarly, Christians celebrate Christmas.

Besides the religious and national festivals observed throughout the Country, Asom has a large number of colourful festivals of its own replete with fun, music and dances. Asomís fairs and festivals are as varied as its population which comes from different racial origins, both tribal and non-tribal.

Bihu, the agricultural festival of Asom is celebrated by all Assamese, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Bihu, Asom's very own festival come off at various stages of cultivation of paddy, the principal crop of Asom. There are three Bihus that come off at various stages of cultivation of paddy, the principal crop of Asom. They are Bahag (Baisakh) Bihu, Kati (Kartika) Bihu and Magh (Magha) Bihu.

 

Art & Craft of Asom

From time immemorial, the people of Asom have traditionally been craftsmen. The magic of art of Assamese craftsmen is a common passion inspiring the deep senses with itsí age old simplicity and sophistication. Though, Asom is renown for its exquisite silks, bamboo and cane products, several other crafts are also made here. The colourful Assamese Japi (headgear), terracotta of Gauripur and various decorative items bear witness to the craftsmanship of this land. Asom Handloom is indeed noteworthy offering a mosaic of colours and contours with pleasing motifs and designs. The Eri, Muga (Assamese silk dresses) and typical tribal attires are a treat to the eyes of the beholder.

Dance, music, woodwork, pottery, sitalpati or the art of mat making have survived through centuries with fewer changes since it remained an integral part of the locals. The advent of modernity, indeed, has brought a change in the everyday lifestyle of the tribals, yet the basic arts and crafts, and their technique of production has not changed much.

The land of Ahoms, Asom has a rich cultural tradition, which finds detail in several arts and crafts form of Asom. The natural beauty of Asom, is said to be reflected, in them.