Jumbos part of culture: Expert

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  • Published 2.02.11

Dhubri, Feb. 1: Elephant expert and one of the exponents of Goalpariya culture, Parboti Barua, said the animal is an integral part of the culture and should be preserved.

“Elephant is part and parcel of Goalpariya culture and in order to preserve the culture, the elephant habitat must be preserved at any cost,” Barua said on Sunday, while addressing the concluding session of a conference on the Preservation of Goalpariya Culture, Tradition, History and Heritage of Western Assam.

The two-day conference, which began on Saturday, was organised by Uttaran, a socio-cultural organisation, at Bilasipara College auditorium.

Barua said there was a special place for elephants and mahouts in Goalpariya culture and similarly Hastir Kanya, sung by Pratima Barua Pandey, plays a pivotal role in shaping the culture, which was essentially and traditionally connected with the message of protection and preservation.

She said the Goalpariya culture and language was not only confined to only lower Assam districts but extended to Rangpur (now in Bangladesh) and has strong resemblance with Assamese, Bengali, Oriya and Brajabali languages but it had flavour and fragrance of its own.

Barua, while appealing to preserve all aspects of Goalpariya culture, history, tradition and heritage, said with the invasion of Western culture, it had now become an urgent need to save and preserve it from distortion.

“Anyone can sing, dance and perform dramas of traditional art and culture but one thing should be ensured that the Goalpariya culture is not distorted in any form.”

The president of Uttaran and Bilasipara sub-divisional officer (civil), Dhrubajyoti Das, said the organisation was making an effort to protect and preserve the glorious and rich history, culture, tradition and heritage of the undivided Goalpara district of west Assam.

“With the growing trend of electronic medium and invasion of western culture in the country, we fear distortion of this rich culture. Preservation of all aspects of Goalpariya culture and its values has remained the main motto behind the formation of Uttaran in 2009,” Das said.

Prof. Shrutidhar Chakraborty, Sanskrit department, and Bhaskar Chakraborty of law department, Gauhati University, Prof. Kailash Dutta, folklore department, Tezpur Central University, Dharma Narayan Burma, a renowned linguist of north Bengal, and Phanidhar Narayan Dutta Barua, former deputy director of Central Linguist Centre, Mysore, also participated in the two-day meet as resource persons.

The secretary of Uttaran, Biswajit Goswami, said 42 scholars from various parts of Assam read out their papers and interacted with the participants.