7 Facts About Assam and its People

It’s the last day of #WriteFestival and I can’t describe how enriching the past 6 days have been. Taking part in this prompt is probably the best thing I did for my blog in a long while. I hope #WriteTribe will come up with more prompts like these :D Atleast it would keep the creative juices flowing.

I have meant to write on this topic for a long time, but somehow couldn’t manage. Well better late than never.

 7 Things about Assam and its People

1)  No, Momo is not our staple food. We love momo but we have some amazing delicacies of our own. Tenga Mas and Outenga daal being my favourite.

2) People from Assam are called Assamese not Assami and not all Assamese have mongoloid features, i.e are chinky in your local term. We are as Indian as you are. Our ancestor might have been a Prince from Mong Mao, but that’s all. We are not foreigners so don’t treat us like one. (For more read – Ahom Dynasty)

3) Our region boasts of some breathtaking locales. Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park is world Heritage site. Our region is one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world. If you wish to visit, our places are well connected through land, water and air. Yes we do have airports in case you were wondering.

 (Imagine this conversation)
A:  How will you go home?
Me: By flight.
A: {flabbergasted} You have airports in your place??
Me: Not at all, we ride elephants and sometimes hitch a ride on a flying carpet.


{Clicked in my uncle's Tea Garden}



4) We DO NOT have dowry system. Having stayed in south India for quite some time, you don’t know how proud I feel when I tell people this fact. Our parents will chase you to the end of the world if you demand one.

5) Assamese language sounds similar to Bengali and it does have a script of its own. Someone once asked me if Assam is near Pakistan. Yeah that was the biggest Facepalm moment of my life. Please refer the “Indian” Map in case you are in doubt.

6) Bihu is the festival of Assam and Kopou phool or Foxtail orchid is the state flower. 

{Clicked in our garden}


Let me share the best thing I like about Rongali Bihu (which falls in mid April). Little children would form Bihu Toli (groups) and visit neighbouring houses. Dressed in traditional attire they would sing and dance to traditional and modern Bihu songs. Once they are done, the host would present them with money and sweets. They all would gather together and the children would sing a prayer and bless the household. {For more - Rongali Bihi in Assam }


{Mom offering gift in a Horai}

7) Naamghar – which means prayer house. It is a community prayer hall and there is no idol worship, not even Krishna.

It feels good when people know about us. We are not all about Jungle, terrorists and Chinese restaurant waiters. There’s more to us.

  I am taking part in #WriteFestival

22 comments:

  1. What a lovely festival and a lovely ritual. That was the stand-out moment for me in this post.

    I totally get the irritation that can be caused by the sort of non-Indian treatment. Ashamed to say it happens in my city too.

    And THAT is great. Chase those dowry-seekers right out of the world.

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  2. These are such a nice information to share. But I know most of them. My first job interview after I got my masters degree was in a tea estate in Assam. I always prepare for my interview. What they asked in my interview was hilarious. I almost took the job but things happen differently. And,I departed for USA.

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  3. Wonderful information about Assam...On TV I have seen talented Assamese youth taking part in talent search reality shows. Informative post...enjoyed reading it.

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  4. Bihu is around the same time as Vishu. I have heard of it before. It is good to know more about Assam. I hope to visit the place someday. Yes, I am sure I will enjoy the magic carpet ride. :)

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  5. Interesting!

    My Aunt is from Assam. Knew some of these facts!

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  6. Great post!! Loved the Orchid click :)

    I've only heard and seen online the beauty of Assam...Right now my cousin is posted there and we'll be travelling there soon! :) :)

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  7. Ah, tell me about stereotypes and general ideas about every thing. I was quite fortunate to visit Assam in Oct 2012 and I have witnessed almost everything that your post talks about. I'm quite happy about the 'no dowry' system. Hats off to you.

    Though I haven't read all your posts, I was glad to be part of this challenge along with you. Thanks for the comments on my blog. Looking forward to continuing this interaction. Fingers crossed.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  8. You know, I loved your post.
    Assam near Pakistan? Dumbness of some just amazes me.
    #4 is a great thing. Felt so good after reading it.

    In Punjab, we celebrate Lohri, kids form groups and go from house to house and sing songs about the festival, they are given popcorn, groundnut and gazak(we call it gachchak in Punjabi though) and then they bless the household. Those who didn't give them anything, they curse it too. :P

    Oh, one more thing, when I read the title I read 'Aasaram' instead of Assam. That chap is so much in the news that any word having a at start and am in end gets read as Aasaram by my eyes. :D

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  9. Thanks for sharing a bit about Assam. It's my dream to visit visit Kaziranga and a tea estate. Assam looks so beautiful.

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  10. Fascinating to learn about Assam. As a Canadian I don't know much about your corner of the world and am happy to be enlightened.

    http://cattitudeandgratitude.blogspot.ca/2013/09/seven-things-i-cant-live-without.html

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  11. Offcorse you are part of India. Who don't know they are dumbshits.Lame on Geography.

    I remember a folk bihu song back from my schooldays...Bihu bihu bihu te rongolia bihu te....correct me if am wrong...

    http://sailorswiferamblings.blogspot.com/2013/09/seven-lessons-on-successful-blogging.html

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  12. I have few good friends from Assam and one of ma sweetest darling friend since college:) I am glad to read bout Bihu and ignore those crap heads who says you are not Indian and that there is no airport in Assam. I would love to visit your place which is a seat of rich culture. Thumbs up for this post:)
    www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

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  13. Having spent some of awesome holidays in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh with my mother's cousins I have a soft corner for Assam.
    And I understand, what you mean when people don't know the basics about north-eastern india.

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  14. I loved reading this, seeing the pictures, and learning things about your culture and homeland. Awesome!

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  15. Such a lovely post! The sari in puic is the traditional Assameese sari?

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  16. @Suresh
    //Chase those dowry-seekers right out of the world.// hehehe yeah
    thank you so much for the comments

    @SG
    That is so cool :D then this post is definitely not for you :D thanks for visiting

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  17. @ShellyMona
    thank you so much :D

    @Neha
    that's great :) thanks a lot

    @Aditi
    I hope you enjoy your stay :D thanks for visiting

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  18. @Susan
    thank you so much.
    Me too looking forward to read more of your posts :)

    @Shilpasharma
    wow that's the same culture... I didn't know about that. thanks for sharing :D

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  19. @Suzy
    yeah do visit :) I am pretty sure you will like it :)

    @Writercat
    thank you so much :D

    @Anuymous
    Bihu bihu bihu te Rongalu bihu te :D
    now that just brought a huge smile :)
    thank you :)

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  20. @Ranveer
    thanks you so much. Do visit and let me know if you need any information :)

    @Sugandha
    A lot of my friends stay in Dibrugarh ... love the climate there :)
    thanks a lot

    @Kathy
    thank you so much

    @Mina
    yup it's traditional Muga Mekhela Chadar
    thanks a lot :)

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  21. I would love to visit those world heritage national parks one day. I will.

    Good to know that you have no dowry system - It was meant only for agrarian families and it has long outgrown its usefulness, but it still continues in our 'cultured' society!

    The national lavender-coloured flower is very beautiful :)

    Destination Infinity

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  22. Thank You so much for writing about Assam.I stay in Jorhat and whenever I am chatting with a local in other part of India, they are like Where is Assam?...or What, Assam? They even asked me whether we ate animals raw so I told them arcastically that we even eat people alive when they aanoy us and that very moment most of them searched for Assam in Wikipedia.Thank God now they know we are from India.And P.S. it was very nice of U to write about it.

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