Field Work relating to Namghar

The field visits during December 2022 and January 2023 relating to VKIC’s ongoing project to know and learn about the vibrancy of the Namghar as a Case Study were as follows –

2nd to 4th December 2022 - Research Associates viz., Ku. Namrata Sarmah, Ku. Barnali Chakraborty, Sri. P. Newme along with the Joint Secretary Sri. Dipankar Mahanta visited the Namghar Samaroh during these three days which was organised by Sri Sri Auniati Sattra along with the greater Uttar Guwahati Samaj in the Sattras Uttar Guwahati branch premises along the northern bank of river Brahmaputra.

The Samaroh was an assembly of Namghoria’s and other responsible functionaries of the Namghars across Assam and it was a good opportunity for the VKIC researchers to interact with such functionaries and learn about their respective Namghars and its function. The interactions and discussions with the functionaries of the Namghar were good amidst their busy engagements in the Samaroh and a total of 22 such Namghars were covered in these three days. Quantitative data was collected through interview schedules with both open ended and close ended questions like, daily activities, weekly services, and community involvement including youth and children, and annual festivals. There were also questions on the history of the establishment, and specific activities like Bhadoh Maah, etc. The data and information so collected has been compiled and will be a part of the final research work.

The Namghar Samaroh was a great success which exemplified the rich Namghoriya tradition of Assam and this assembly was an indication of the vibrancy of the Namghar Institute across Assam. Representatives from around two thousand Namghar assembled there to perform and demonstrate the various forms of Naam like Diha Naam, Aai Naam, Mahilar Rongial Naam, Nagara Naam, Vrindabaniya Naam, Boiragi Naam, Khongori Naam, Mridongiya Naam, Sishu xokolor Naam, Khol Prasanga, etc. Besides the various forms of Naam, Krishna Raas Leela and Dasavatar Nritya were also performed. The Somaroh was visited by many distinguished guests from the government, academia and reputed public figures. Participants from neighbouring states like Manipur, West Bengal, etc also participated. 

29 December 2022 – A day long visit was made by Sri Dipankar Mahanta, Joint Secretary, VKIC, to Dibrugarh and Sivsagar in order to plan for the involvement of the VKV students during the final presentation on the finding of the research work on the vibrancy of Namghars to be held sometime in June-July 2023 in Borduwa. Shri Manik Ch. Bora, teacher from VKV Dibrugarh has been bestowed the responsibility to prepare the students in three areas viz., mati-akhara, khol badan and borgeet to be performed during the final programme in Borduwa. 

Discussions relating to the preparation of the VKV students in these three areas of performance was made with the Principal of both Dibrugarh and Sivsagar schools and besides them with persons like Sri Ranjan Mahanta, a Sattriya from Sri Sri Jokai Sattra and also a guardian of VKV Sivsagar student, Dr Jadav Bora, a Sattriya from Sri Sri Uttar Kamalabari Sattra and a faculty of Performing Arts in Dibrugarh University, Dr Krishnanarayan Dutta Baruah, a performing artist and a surgeon from Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh. 

A curriculum in these three areas of performance was outlined and it was decided to share the same with selected teachers in 8 VKV Schools who will train the students in their respective schools and prepare them for the final performance during the main programme in June-July 2023. The schools are VKV’s in Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivsagar, Tingrai, Sisirborgaon, Dhemaji, Golaghat and Nalbari.

04th January 2023 – A visit was made by Sri Dipankar Mahanta, Sri Madhurjya Bordoloi and Ku. Namrata Sarma, karyakartas of VKIC to Bardua Than and Dhing to see the infrastructure which can accommodate the lodging for a minimum of 200 participants and plan for the two-day programme on Namghar where the final findings of the research work as a case study and discussions thereof is being planned for an assembly of say around 350 persons (including the 200 residential participants) in each of the two days.