The soulful dance form called Dhamail, distinctive to Assam’s Barak valley might have faded into insignificance from the mind space of its own people; nevertheless the graceful dance form got international diplomats foot-tapping to its rhythmic beats.
The unique dance form was performed as a part of the first of its kind three day festival – Colours of Barak organized in New Delhi by JOOKTOO, a think tank that aims to promote indigenous culture and talent while connecting like minds.
“It’s a wonderful dance form. Maybe I should travel to the region to learn more of Dhamail,” said a jovial Lindsay Margaret from the Canadian high commission who was thrilled to get a real taste of culture and traditions of the much lesser talked about Barak valley.
Artists depicted the entire culture of Barak valley in twenty minutes through this dance form leaving the enthusiastic audience enticed. Audience also included people from Bangladesh High commission and Japan Embassy.
“I want more such talent from the region, “said Amarendra Khatua, DG, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) who said that they would love to extend further support to promote Dhamail as a culturally unique dance form in the Barak valley.
The event also showcased the graceful Manipuri dance form, most popular folk songs and traditional dances as well as dhol (drum) recitals and brought into limelight the multi-cultural diversity of various other inhabitants of the valley.
“Our focus was to promote the multi-cultural talent across the Barak valley and give them necessary exposure at the national and international levels while drawing in attention to the pressing need of development in that region, said Subimal Bhattacharjee, director, Jooktoo.
Photographs of river Barak was displayed by noted artists Partho Seal at the Azad Art Gallery at ICCR headquarters which attracted many keen art aficionado and buyers.
Barak has its own richness in terms of culture and intellectual diversification. Almost no exposure however led to situations where a wide pool of talented performers and artists from the region got left unrecognized.
The naturally bestowed beautiful Barak valley comprising the districts Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi has further been a victim of apathy, paucity of basic infrastructure, poor connectivity, mis-utilization of funds amongst others.
Jooktos next step is to take some art aficionados from different part of and give them a ground exposure of life and culture across Barak valley. The talents are the future ambassador who would take up the cause of development and promotion of the multi-faceted culture and diversity of the region.
Post the recent event Namami Brahmaputra in Assam, all eyes are now set towards bringing Assam’s beautiful Barak valley to the limelight.
With new efforts being directed there, it is certainly a time rejoice for its inhabitants. “For the first time artists in the Barak valley got such a platform in the national capital. This is of profound value and will surely motivate them to do more,” said Ajoy Roy, General secretary Samillito Sanskritic Mancha, Silchar, an umbrella organization of eighty-two cultural bodies in Barak valley.
Assam is further set to organize Namami Barak, to give a facelift to the valley. Chief minister Sarbanda Sonowal has reportedly started to make arrangements for the festival with a focus on development of waterways and roadways in that region.