Sunday, April 1, 2018

A- AHOM Community

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logoThis year in 2018 A-Z Challenge I wanted to start with writing about the places I have visited during childhood and youth days and I find lot of people are not aware of th such community is AHOM
Do you remember the famous song from Movie Rudali..Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye (  composed and sung by Bhupen Hazarika famous singer was a descendant of Ahom community.
A reminded me one of my favorite times where I spent some good moments of my life in upper part of Assam where a major population  belonged to AHOM community.
The Ahom people of Assam are said to be descendants of Tai people based near the Brahmaputra river in early thirteenth century. The Ahom dynasty (1228–1826) ruled the Ahom kingdom in present-day Assam for nearly 600 years. The dynasty was established by Sukaphaa, a Shan prince of Mong Mao who came to Assam after crossing the Patkai mountains . They ruled the kingdom  until British gained control of region through treaty of Yandabo  upon winning the First Anglo Burmese war in 1826.
They are the largest Mongoloid Community not only in Assam but in entire northeast region . Majority are found in upper Assam including present day Sibasagar , Dibrugarh , Tinisukia. They are also found in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Key Contributions to development of society

  • BIHU has been the most precious gift of Ahoms to Assam. 
  •  ‘RANG GHAR’ amphitheatre where it first shaped up and then, it journeyed to the eternal fame.
  • Tolatol Ghor, Rong Ghor, Kareng Ghor and the Saraideu Moidams - Yes, the Ahoms made them, thus, giving Assam awesome and imposing architectural landmarks. Also, the Joysagar and Sibasagar tanks which add beauty to the purity of JOYDOL and SHIVADOL were built by the Ahoms.
  • Bravery is  middle name. Ahom was the only kingdom in entire India which won over the well-organized and mighty Mughals. The Great Lachit Borphukan, an Ahom, did not let the Mughals enter Assam as his army quashed them to defeat in the famous battle of Saraighat. Lachit built ‘GARHS’ (defensive structures) within one night as a safety measure. It surely cost him his uncle. But, like he famously said – “DEKHOT KOI MUMAI DANGOR NOHOI.” Country is my priority not Uncle.
Religious Practices: Although modern Ahom people and their culture are a syncretism blend of the original Tai culture, the indigenous Tibeto-Burmans and Hinduism but many still follow original religion named “Fralung “ . There is no god in Ahom religion. FRA symbolizes nature and its creation where as lung symbolizes Force . This seems to be more a scientific humanitarian philosophy related with the creation of the universe(s), existence of life and purpose of human life than that of a so-called religion. The custom regarding the Ahom with their dead is to not burn them but keep them in a box. They have inter-married, some with the Tibeto Burmans who gave them the name of Ahom.. They worship ancestors who they believe will keep them safe. They believe that when dead, a person goes to heaven and becomes a god and they then worship them

Marriage : Chak-long ceremony- The word ‘Chak-long’ means ‘marriage’ and it’s a special mode in which a typical Ahom marriage is performed.
Sodhanibhar’ triggers the chain of fascinating events- It's typically a gift, consisting of betel nuts and leaves, rice, ducks, etc which the groom-to-be’s family carries to the house of the bride-to-be for asking her hand. The next step is to fix a date for the bride-to-be's people to come and see how the groom-to-be's family lives. Only post that,  the wedding date is fixed.The three day ceremony is popular among the Tai Ahom people. The first day is called ‘Joron-diya’, the second day is ‘Murot-tel diya’ and the final day is ‘Chak-long’.
It's the first day of the marriage on which the family of the bridegroom comes and gifts wedding apparel (minimum three or maximum seven sets) and ornaments to the bride, along with other necessary articles. Also, two earthen pots filled with rice, decorated with cotton yarn and wrapped around in beautiful napkins, with a fresh mango-twig having five leaves planted in each of them and four packets of paste of black pulse, named ‘mati-mah’ and turmeric are gifted to the bride for her bathing ritual.

The Chak-long ceremony is conducted by the ‘Siring Phukan’ or priest. The priest, also called Moulung, reads from the 'Saklang puthi'- the holy book for marriage, and narrates the history of the ancestors to the bride and groom. Such narration is believed to encourage and inspire the couple to look forward to a happy married life and carry forward the legacy of their forefathers.
The ‘Maral’, a vast and beautiful Rangoli decorated with 101 earthen lamps, is the center of attraction of the whole Chak-long ceremony. The bride and groom sit in front of this Maral, make a promise to start a new life together before the lighted lampoon and then the priest proceeds with the ritual of the marriage in the presence of an audience of parents and elders.
I hope you gained information about this community and excited to know more about them please visit website
Please give your feedback on how many of you visited Upper Assam and have experienced understanding culture and belief of this  beautiful community who believes in the cycle of nature..

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I learned something new today!I really really love religion and had never heard of Fralung before. Is that still what it is known as today?