Thursday, 12 August 2010

Asamiya Get-together in Volkach

A short description of the recent Asamiya get-together that Stephan and I hosted in our home in Volkach on the weekend of the 31st July-1st August 2010.

After months of talking about it, weeks of preparation and quite a few dozens of e-mail messages and phone calls in all directions, 21 people converged to our house in Volkach (14 of them Asamiya, with their families/spouses/partners) in the last weekend of July for a first Asamiya get-together of sorts in this part of Germany. We were expecting quite a few more, but given that it was the very first time, and there was very little contact before, I think it was quite a success.

I want to begin by saying thank you once again to all those who came for coming, for the very kind words you had to say about the get-together and for sharing your photos with the rest of us, and, to share a bit of the fun with those who could not come, to make sure that next time we have a bigger gathering. A special thanks to Ellie Bou and Nirode da (the celebrated historian Dr. Nirode Barooah from Koeln) for coming and for bestowing dignity and grace to the whole event.

The four of us at Volkach (Hans, Magdalena, Stephan and I) felt very happy to have managed to keep to our rough plan and although it took some organising, it made us feel very satisfied and happy in the end. This was the first time we had as many as a dozen people at one time spending the night as guests in our house, and it was a really nice feeling. Thanks also for the larroos and pithas, the singing, music and dancing, the map with the flags, and for the friendliness that imbued everything with a sense of fun. The patch of parched grass in our garden reminds me constantly of the lovely bonfire we had going in our garden that night.

For those who did not come, a brief description: people started arriving around lunch time on Saturday and we started with a round of introductions around 4 p.m. that lasted till a little after dinner after which we all settled around a bonfire for some music and singing, ending with a Husuri and Bihu dance around 2 a.m. the next morning. On Sunday our guests did some sightseeing in and around Volkach. Some had to leave during the course of the day but those left met for lunch and again around dinner-time in our house for another round of talking and laughing ending again in the wee hours of the morning.

Most importantly, the weather was perfect all through Saturday and Sunday -- it started to rain from early on Monday morning but by then nobody was complaining. But the time we had together was just not enough -- wish we could have prolonged it for at least another day. I hope we can keep meeting informally like this, at least every 1-2 years. And there was a sort of informal agreement that the next meeting will be during the Autumn school break of 2011 in Mr. Yaso Mahanta's Dorfpark Hotel in a beautiful corner of Austria.

And you can be assured of amongst all other things, culinary delights like laroos and pithas made by Rita, music by Sushanta (trumpet) and Kakoli (violin) and some real authentic Husuri from Mr. Mahanta. And if Thunu can be persuaded to join Mr. Mahanta and Wolfgang can be persuaded to bring his guitar along, then you can be assured of a very long and enjoyable night...

For me personally, it was a huge occasion to come to terms with my personal home-sickness, and it made me feel happy again about being an Asomiya and at peace again with the big wide world. There is another reason for me to feel very happy -- when I had first started planning this meet, I found it hard to explain to Stephan how I was so sure that this would work, even though I did not know most of the people personally. But he went along, never-the-less, and helped in every single way he could. In the end, not only did everything work beautifully but in turn our guests were quite amazed at how hard Hans and Magdalena worked to make the whole thing a success and how well they gelled into the predominantly Asamiya atmosphere, given the fact that they were the only non-Asamiya couple in the gathering.

At the end of it all everyone left with a few more friends than they had before they arrived here, and to know that is a wonderfully good feeling.


  1. Hi Meenaxi,

    Congratulations! And thanks for posting it here. I wish I could make it...but as you know already- I couldnot come because of my trip to India.I am sure next time I will make it to it :-)

    Sounds you guys have had great fun! I will be a part next time!

    Happy Independence day, one day in advance!

    Best wishes,

  2. A lovely description about a nice gathering! I liked your final words that 'At the end of it all everyone left with a few more friends than they had before they arrived here' . Isn't that worth of all the pains you took for the meet ?