Assam: Over 11,000 dancers, musicians perform Bihu dance and create 2 world records

GUWAHATI: A total of 11,304 dancers and musicians performed Assam’s Bihu dance at a stadium in Guwahati on Thursday to create two world records and take the traditional dance form to the world stage.

More than 7,000 dancers, most of them girls, and over 3,000 ‘dhol’ drummers and other musicians who have been selected from all districts in the state and trained over the past few weeks, performed for 15 minutes at the Sarusajai Stadium.
Bihu, Bihu-Dance
This was followed by a separate performance comprising drummers and other musicians. The performers tried to create world records in two categories—largest Bihu dance performance and largest performance by folk musicians that included traditional instruments like ‘dhol’, ‘pepa’, ‘gogona’ and ‘toka’.

Bihu dance is a traditional folk-dance popular across Assam and especially performed during Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, the spring festival that heralds the Assamese New Year in mid-April.

“Today we have been able to create two world records. Like today, on Friday also 11,000 dancers and musicians will perform Bihu in front of the Prime Minister and start our journey of conquering the world stage,” the chief minister said.

Prior to the dance performance, official adjudicator of Guinness World Records, Rishi Nath, informed that the previous largest gathering of Bihu dancers at one place was 500.

In October 2015, 9,892 Nati dancers from Kullu in Himanchal Pradesh had entered the Guinness World Records for the largest gathering of performers of that folk dance form.

Official certificates of the Guinness World Records will be handed over to the Assam government, which organised the event, at a similar performance to be held at the same venue on Friday in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“It is a happy and memorable day for all Assamese people. We have to present ourselves as a proud race on the world stage. We used to have all and still have, but our mentality of limiting ourselves between Sadiya and Dhubri (the easternmost and westernmost boundaries of Assam) had taken our race backwards,” Sarma said in his address.

The chief minister spoke about how people across India know about Chatrapati Shivaji and Rana Pratap, but the attempt to tell the world about bravery and valour of Lachit Barphukan, an Ahom general from Assam, has started only recently.

“Absolutely fantastic. That was the most mesmerizing show I have seen till date,” said Guinness World Record adjudicator Rishi Nath. The exact figure of the total number of musicians who took part in the second performance was not available immediately, but officials said it will be mentioned in the official certificates.