The Telegraph
Saturday , April 23 , 2016

Centre to revive boat races

Borjhar, April 22: A folk tradition of south Kamrup, the boat race, is witnessing a revival.

The Centre is reviving boat races in the state through the Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme.

Five college students of Chhaygaon in south Kamrup are being trained under this scheme, launched by the North East Zone Cultural Centre of the ministry of cultural affairs, to preserve and promote rare and disappearing art forms. The zonal cultural centres are providing financial assistance in the form of scholarships.

Sukumar Medhi, who has been selected as the guru under the scheme this year, said government apathy and the impact of globalisation contribute to the dismal status of folk culture. "Folk culture is no longer accorded the royal status it used to enjoy in our society," he said.

The training programme will cover a year.

"There are about 100 songs, which are related to the boat race, but are facing extinction," Medhi said.

South Kamrup has a 300-year-old tradition of boat races. Medhi said the folk culture of this area is river-centric, which finds reflection in the boat race songs.

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