Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva (SSS) celebrated a unique event ‘Nagaon Friendship Day’ on January 5, 2014 in Nagaon. The event honored a few individuals contributing to Sankari culture. It also highlighted the egalitarianism and universal brotherhood preached by Srimanta Sankaradeva. A Friendship Walk took place in the Nagaon town on that morning. There were display of different facets of Sankari culture like Gayan-Bayan, Naam-Kirtan, Bhaona, Mask, Diha-Naam, Thiyanam, Sattriya Nritya etc in the walk. Several social organizations including Batadrava Than, Asom Sattra Mahasabha, Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha, Sutradhaar and Kalang Kala Kendra took part in the Walk.
The participants of the Walk later took a pledge. The pledge was : I take a vow to do my best to uphold and spread the legacy bequeathed by Srimanta Sankaradeva. I will tell my non-Assamese friends about the life and works of Srimanta Sankaradeva. I will see at least one Bhaona every year. I will read at least two books about life and works of Srimanta Sankaradeva in the current year. The pledge was administered by Dr Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti, the President of Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva (SSS).
The walk was followed by the Felicitation meeting in Shahid Bhavan which was presided over by Dr Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti. Eleven artisans engaged in preservation of Sankari culture were felicitated. They were Sri Dharmakanta Mahanta, Raidangia, Nagaon (Guru Asan construction), Sri Thuleswar Barua, Bardowa, Nagaon (Kuhila product making), Sri Shishuram Barua, Bardowa, Nagaon (Kuhila product making), Sri Madhav Das, Nagaon (Khol making), Sri Rakhal Das, Nagaon (Khol making), Sri Nityananda Goswami, Kuji Sattra, Marigaon (Kuhila product making, Khol making, Fireworks preparation), Sri Kaliram Bora, Bheleuguri, Nagaon (Kali playing), Sri Jadab Chandra Mahanta, Titabor (Sanchipat preparation, Mask making, Ink making, Costume making), Sri Bishnuram Handique, Jorhat (Sanchipat preparation, Ink making), Sri Girish Chandra Mahanta, Charing, Sivasagar (Mask making) and Sri Devakanta Hazarika, Puranigudam, Nagaon (Mask making). They were given offered financial assistance of Rs 5,000 each.
There were Ankiya play song recital by Dipankar Goswami, Gayan-Bayan performance by the team of Pratap Das and Sattriya Nritya recital by Meenakshi Medhi, Lakhimi Mahanta and Misimi Mahanta in the function. Sri Debananda Deva Goswami (Sattradhikar of Narowa Sattra and President of Batadrava Than), Rini Kakati (UK), Sri Jibeswar Deva Goswami (General Secretary of Asom Sattra Mahasabha), Kailas Das (Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha) and Ankur Bora (USA) attended as guests of honor. There was also an exhibition-cum-sale of Sanchipat art, Mask, Kuhila products and the Society’s publications. The event was sponsored by several non-resident Assamese. They were Wahid Saleh, Lansingerland, Netherland, Krishanu Kaushik, Detroit, USA, Dr Sanjib Bhuyan, New Jersey, USA, Dr Binoy Kr Bordoloi, New Jersey, USA, Dr Nripen Barua, New Jersey, USA, Dr Arvind Phukan, Washington, USA, Debojit Bora, California, USA, Ankur Bora, Dallas, USA, Rini Kakati, London, UK, Debojit D. Chowdhury, California, USA and Dr Sapna Bora, California, USA.
This is actually a long-term project of Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva. The first phase was carried out in Jorhat a few months ago, on May 5, 2013. The Society will continue its effort to bring the artisans to the limelight, it was stated by Dr Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti, the SSS President. Ankur Bora promised sustained support to SSS activities and said that non-resident Assamese were in fact looking for such opportunities so that they could lend their hands. About three hundred distinguished citizens of Nagaon attended the event.