Two-day meet on Buddhist culture

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Jorhat, Feb. 26: The Central Institute of Assamese Studies, an autonomous academic wing of Asam Sahitya Sabha, will organise a two-day international seminar on Charyapada and contemporary language, literature and culture from March 15 at Guwahati.

Lubna Marium, Dhaka-based Sanskrit scholar and exponent of Charyanritya and other dance forms like Bharatnatyam and Manipuri, will perform on the occasion.

She will also be presented with the first Dr Bhupen Hazarika International Solidarity award on behalf of the Sabha. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, sponsored by Numaligarh Refinery Limited, a citation, trophy, books and other items.

K. Ahmed, institute registrar, told The Telegraph that Charyapada was part of Buddhist religious songs and culture, which evolved during the period of Buddhism.

"Assamese literature was at a formative stage then but there are a few Charyapadas written during the time. In West Bengal and Odisha, there were also many songs of this kind," Ahmed said.

Five scholars from Nepal, two from Tripura and two from West Bengal have been invited to deliver lectures during the seminar. Besides papers will be presented by a few persons from Bangladesh.

The seminar will be held in collaboration with Nath Yogi Development Council and Padmashree Jugal Kishore Choudhury Charitable Trust, New Delhi. The inaugural session will be held at Rabindra Bhawan and the second day meeting held at Lakhi Ram Baruah Sadan.

Lubna Marium who will receive the award on March 28, is a researcher who has presented papers on aesthetics and indigenous performances in several national and international seminars. Her topics of research include "Study of Sanskrit", "Charyanritya: Body and Mind Connection in Buddhist Tantric Dances Based on Charyapada Literature" and "Performing Marginality: Performance and Preservation of Folk Dances of Bangladesh".

Chandan Sarmah, Sabha administrator at Guwahati, said Marium was also working on Nazrulgeeti and Rabindra dance. She has also written a paper on contemporising Tagore's plays, based on production of Tasher Desh.

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