The Tea Tribes are integral to the cultures of Assam and West Bengal, and it is this amalgamation of cultures that gives the modern day its distinctive richness. After three years of success, in this fourth year of celebration, it is a moment of pride as the cultural uniqueness of the community is brought forth through the vibrant festivity of ‘Sirish Mahotsav’.
Sirish is the answer to the calling for preservation, promotion, and propagation of the various cultural forms of the TeaTribes. The contribution of the Tea Tribes to the culture and economy has been immense, and Sirish is a medium to enhance and propagate the art, dance and drama forms of this very integral fiber of Assam. We need to use Sirish as a landmark to strengthen the bonds between people and allow the hearts of the community to express this unique cultural heritage that we are so blessed with.
Since the 1830s and over 8 generations, the Tea Tribes have been fundamental to the scaffoldings of Rural Assam;creating bright futures in these remote but breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. It is in our best interest to promote the creation of sustainable futures in these rural locales through the Rural Futures programme of our sister-concern, the Balipara Foundation.
Our collaborative efforts can bring dynamic changes in upholding the traditions and integrating a sense of pride in the culture of the Tea Tribes and lead to the development of holistic, self-sufficient and empowered communities.
Sirish Mahotsav is a successful example of fostering Rural Futures in the Eastern Himalayas. Through the ‘Rural Futures Framework’ launched at the Eastern Himalayan NaturenomicsTM Forum in 2017, we aim to catalyze conservation efforts through the designing of holistic models for human-centric, community-based conservation to create social-environmental and economic interdependence.
By Ranjit Barthakur,