Preserving Assam's Cultural Heritage: Assam Down Town University's Workshop on Borgeet

A report has been prepared by the team on this programme.

Sep 22, 2023 - 10:12
Sep 22, 2023 - 10:50
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Preserving Assam's Cultural Heritage: Assam Down Town University's Workshop on Borgeet
Image: Programme Still

Assam Down Town University has embarked on a mission to preserve and practice the state's rich cultural heritage in order to help safeguard and promote the state's cultural heritage. There are several ongoing projects that are being overseen by renowned scholars and researchers who have made the university a hub for cultural renewal. A recent initiative in this regard was the organisation of a four-day workshop on Borgeet, an ancient form of religious classical music introduced by Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva and Mahapurush Madhabdeva.

As part of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences' academic program, the workshop began on September 19th, 2023, and will be held until September 22nd, 2023. The objective of this initiative is not just to teach Borgeet to students, but also to celebrate it as a vital part of Assam's cultural heritage.

Borgeet: A Glimpse into Assam's Cultural Roots

A form of devotional music known as Borgeet, holds enormous cultural and historical significance in the state of Assam. There are two towering figures in the Assamese cultural and religious history, Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva and Mahapurush Madhabdeva, who introduced it between the 15th and 16th centuries. The hymns have a deep spiritual origin, and they usually serve as a medium for expressing devotion and love towards God, which is rooted in spirituality.

Ananta Oza: A Beacon of Borgeet

This workshop will be conducted by one of the most well known Borgeet artists of Assam, Ananta Oza. Oza is a mentor who has a wealth of experience and a profound understanding of the art form that makes him an ideal mentor for aspiring students. A highly respected figure in the cultural circles of Assam because of his expertise and commitment to the preservation of Borgeet, he has earned the respect of his peers.

Diverse Participation: A Testament to Cultural Reawakening

One of the unique features of this workshop is the diversity of the group of students who have participated with enthusiasm. This group of students, representing different faculties within the university, share a common passion for preserving Assam's cultural heritage, which ties them together as a unit. In addition to providing a platform for cultural exchange, the workshop also offers the participants a chance to connect with their heritage.

The Workshop Agenda

This four-day workshop will introduce participants to various aspects of Borgeet, including its history, lyrics, musical notation, and vocal techniques. The participants will not only learn the melodies of the hymns, but also the spiritual and cultural context behind each hymn. Aside from imparting knowledge, the workshop will also instill a sense of cultural responsibility in participants, which will make it an unforgettable event.

Cultural Revival in the Modern Era

It is crucial that initiatives such as the Borgeet workshop at Assam Down Town University are able to preserve the cultural heritage which defines a region in the midst of a rapidly changing world. There is no doubt that the university plays an important role in ensuring that the rich tapestry of Assam's culture continues to thrive by providing a platform for the transmission of traditional knowledge.

During the course of the workshop, it becomes clear that the participants are not only learning music, but they are also becoming custodians of a tradition that has and continues to stand the test of time for decades. With their dedication and enthusiasm, they are making sure that the melodies of Borgeet will continue to resonate throughout the ages to come.

It is expected that the workshop's conclusion on September 22, 2023, will not mark the end of Assam's cultural heritage, but the beginning of a renewed commitment to the preservation of it. There is no doubt that as the participants take their newfound knowledge into the future, they will carry with them the melodies and messages of Borgeet in order to ensure that the traditions of Srimanta Sankardeva and Mahapurush Madhabdeva will live on in the hearts and voices of those who follow after them.

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