Assam's traditional art 'Ankiya Bhaona' enlightens people in National Capital

By Chandrakala Choudhury

New Delhi, [India], Mar. 15 (ANI): The North East Institute of Fashion Technology in collaboration with the Assam Government recently organised a cultural event 'Ankiya Bhaona' to revive the lost culture of the Vaishnavite dance drama.

The event aimed to highlight the rich Sattriya culture and heritage of Assam and enlighten audience about the history of the authentic and traditional art and dance forms of the region.

The event was inaugurated by various MPs and MLAs, including Assam's Commerce and Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patwary.

The event started with a cultural piece by the renowned 'Charaideo Bihu' troupe that mesmerised the crowd with their mystical Bihu moves.

Assam is known for its rich traditional art forms, colourful and vibrant forms of dance, music and most importantly, the Vaishnavite culture, which can be traced back to the 15th-century religious-cultural Vaishanav Movement.

One such invention of a traditional form of theatre during the Vashnavite era was the 'Ankiya Naat' or 'Bhaona,' which is usually attributed to the medieval saint Sankardeva.

While speaking to ANI, chairman of NEIFT Vikram Rai Medhi said, "The idea of organising this in Delhi is to bring the people of Assam and the capital closer, so that there is an interaction between the two thought processes. People of Delhi, who read about Ankiya Bhaona or know about Bihu will have in-depth knowledge about it."

"What we feel that performance of this kind excites the minds of people from metros and gives stimulation for the tourism industry. The people of the metros would then take an interest to visit our NE states, so that there is an exchange of tourism between the northeast and mainland India," he added.

Bhaona is a traditional form of entertainment, accompanied with religious messages, prevalent in the state of Assam.

The 'Ankiya Bhaona' performance, depicting tales from the Ramayana, was conducted by a troupe from Kamalabari Satra of Titabor that left the audience awestruck by their divine spiritual performance.

"This is the first time I am observing such a vibrant cultural aspect of Assam after years of staying here in New Delhi. This is really unique especially the Bihu dance. Such programs should be organised so that people come to know about the colorful culture of Assam," said Poonam Khanna an audience.

Besides, the Indian crowd, people from overseas also came to witness the rich cultural heritage of the state.

Ooti from Germany said "This is for the first time I saw a man dancing while they are playing an instrument. It is very colourful with so many different forms and it is very fascinating for me".

"We have invited people from different parts of the country, which will give them an opportunity to carry forward a message of the rich socio-cultural history of Assam," said Kamakhya Prasad Sharma, MP, Assam. (ANI)