The Assamese diaspora from Australia and New Zealand got together in Melbourne to celebrate the Second Assam Convention Australia & New Zealand. The First Assam Convention was held in 2016 in Sydney. This year too, the Assamese diaspora met together and celebrated the cultural heritage of Assam, India’s remote northeastern state,
This year, the diaspora had the privilege of hosting Dr Prasanna Gogoi, guest artist from Assam. Dr Gogoi is an ethnomusicologist, master craftsman, and an artiste of international repute, having presented Bihu and Assamese folk music and dance in more than 25 countries.
Like the first convention, this year too it was a two-day event. Day one (Sep 28) was a meet & greet event. It started with a meeting to deliberate on various strategies to move the community forward and decide on the venue for the third 2020 Assam convention. After the strategy meeting, there was an informal gathering, which provided a perfect opportunity for the people from all over Australia and New Zealand to mingle with one another and establish new relationships. The major highlights of the meet & greet event was a sumptuous home cooked meal by the Assamese women from Melbourne with all kinds of mouth-watering Assamese delicacies.
The second day (Sep 29) was devoted to a cultural night followed by a grand dinner at Collingwood Town Hall. The evening commenced with the lighting of the lamp by the coordinators from each Australian state and territory – ACT & NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and New Zealand. This was followed by a welcome speech from Vic Assam, Melbourne the organising state and the launching of the second edition of the souvenir magazine, Xomonnoy by the Guest of Honour Dr Sundaram Sivamalai, Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission. The entire gathering paid rich tributes to all the departed members of the community that we had lost in the past two years.
Children as well as adults participated in the cultural show. The team from Melbourne presented Sattriya dance on Krishna Avatar composed and choreographed by Nilakshi Barah. The evening also included mime act and various local talented singers belting out hit Assamese numbers accompanied by the instrumental group from Sydney.