Rongali Bihu will be celebrated the world over by the Assamese community on Sunday 15th April. Rongali Bihu is one of three major cultural festivals from Assam, the North Eastern state of India from where my family originates. This festival marks the beginning of spring and celebrates the harvest season with a wide range of festive treats including Til’or Pitha and Narikol’or Laru (do try out the recipes for these by clicking here).

But today’s post is not going into depth about Bihu. Proudly Assamese, I wanted to take advantage of this upcoming special occasion and share a beautiful piece of Assamese folklore with you. Every culture has treasured ‘hand me down’ fairytales that have been whispered down generations, and the Cinderella-style struggle story that has a prominent part in Assamese story-telling is that of Tejimola

 

My father in-law has a very endearing caretaker who originates from the Garo Hills. Swing is a short, middle-aged man with a rather muscular stature and a deep, dark chocolate-brown complexion, and has been a part of this family ever since I married into it. Yes, his name is Swing! Given his fondness for the bottle and a very jovial disposition, this name seems pretty apt for him. Sparse teethed yet ever-smiling, Swing has formed a special friendship with my daughter who he last saw as a 2 year-old. My daughter does not speak any Indian regional languages, and Swing has very limited use of the English tongue. Yet the other afternoon, I saw him sitting there trying to tell her a story in colloquial Hindi.

The legend of Garbo Raja a Boro Hills Folktale in The Tezzy Files Dubai Travel Blog Assamese Blogger North East India.jpg

Always keen on hearing some regional-style storytelling myself, I sat down to listen and offered to be the translator between the two. Swing narrated the story of Gangbo Raja, a folktale that has been passed down generations in the Garo Hills.

My family originates from Assam, the North Eastern state of India. You might have heard of Assam if you’re a serious tea drinker. Or perhaps you’ve heard of our one-horned rhinos or the world’s hottest chili, the ‘Bhoot Jolokia’. Assam also boasts of having Asia’s oldest oil refinery. Like every state of India, Assam is seeped in its own unique set of cultures and traditions.

Bhogali Bihu festivities are in the air. This is the festival of feasting and marks the end of the harvest season. Assamese households get busy preparing traditional Bihu treats and socializing with friends and family.bihu recipes

I am a total novice when it comes to Assamese cooking. Meet Sharmin Pasha. Sharmin created the very popular Assamese Cuisine & Recipes page on Facebook and has over forty-thousand fans worldwide. Needless to say, she is an authority in Assamese cooking. She also happens to be my sister-in-law (my hubby’s only sibling)!