In Assam We Dance Bihu

This week in class we sing “Ilelele,” a song from the far eastern Indian state of Assam. Nestled at the foot of the Himalayas between Bhutan and Bangladesh, Assam is a center of eco-tourism in India, promoting itself as the home of Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, and the almost-but-not-quite extinct one-horned Indian rhinoceros. Assamese culture is a fluid mix of influences from the many ethnic groups that have mingled in the region, like North Indian Vedics, Tibetans, Bamar, Shan and many others from as far east as China’s Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. We don’t do the Assamese Bihu dance in class, but, watching this video, we can’t think of a good reason why not.

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