Jorhat, March 22: To propagate the culture of Koch-Rajbongshis in Upper Assam, a Silarai Cultural Centre will be opened here on Sunday by the Sodou Asom Silarai Sanskritik Mahasangha.
Debomoni Dutta, a member of the organisation, said while Koch-Rajbongshis constitute a sizeable population in the Mangaldoi-Bongaigaon-Kokrajhar belt in Assam and Cooch Behar in Bengal, they were mostly fragmented in Upper Assam.
“Many people of the Koch community reside in the villages of Upper Assam but they are not unified and many of them have forgotten their tradition and practices. The cultural centre will unify them and help propagate their culture,” Dutta said.
“Koch men used to wear the angosa and the women the daxana along with a pattoni. These have been lost here. Mridang and dhulki (a large flute like instrument) are two traditional instruments of the Koch. We also have our Puran and Kuxan songs based on the Ramayana and Hrudan Deo worship of Varun devata,” Dutta pointed out.
He said the Xatriya or Shankari culture of Assam was also an integral part of the Koch culture.
It had been formed by Vaishnavaite saint Srimanta Xankardev during the reign of Koch King Naranarayan in whose palace he had resided for some time and received his royal patronage in the 16th century.
The Silarai Cultural Centre has been named after King Naranarayan’s brother and commander-in-chief, Sukhladhvaj, who is more famous as Silarai because he was said to strike as fast as a hawk or sila. He had conquered many small kingdoms and consolidated the strength of the Koch kingdom, then known as Kamata. The centre, the land for which was donated by Durlabh Koch, a resident of the area, will be inaugurated by Badan Mulia Barua, an exponent of Shankari culture, at Kasogoral at 1pm on Sunday.
People of the community from Majuli, Sivasagar and Golaghat districts are expected to attend the ceremony. In Jorhat district, the Kochs are scattered in various places.
in areas such as Dhekiakhowa, Soru Moina Poria, Bar Moina Poria, Hatigarh, Meteli, Akhoibari, Kamargaon, Sarigaon, Jyotipur, Pepera, Rongdoi Bhogonia, Bhugar Sook, Gorialor Sook, Kath Kosia, Koch Gaon Soraimoria, Ujoni Soraimoria, Titabar and Meleng.