Namghars across Assam are synonymous with religious and cultural functions, but many of them are also exemplary in functioning as institutions of self-governance. This was a view expressed by historian Dr Rahul S Mazumdar while delivering the lecture on Namghar on July 26.
The Namghars in the urban areas of Assam have successfully retained some of the features of Vaishnavite traditions found in village Namghars. The use of an egalitarian platform to worship one unifying God with prayers and discussions is common to Namghars in cities, towns and villages.
Austrian Anthropologist visits VKIC
Anthropology researcher Wally Rey from Vienna visited the VKIC to acquire information on Night Visiting husbands among the Khasis and Jaintias of Meghalaya.
The researcher was provided necessary information on the subject by VKIC’s Research Associate Kunal Choudhury. She was provided publications of the VKIC, which have been well received by scholars and researchers. Equipped with information from VKIC she carried out field investigations in part of Meghalaya.
Namghar Lecture Series
The VKIC as part of its endeavour to unravel the cultural and social reality of Assam and rest of the Northeast organizes lectures, seminars and workshops on significant traditions and institutions. The year 2014 was marked by a series of lectures on Namghar (traditional community prayer hall) in Assam and adjoining areas. Under the banner of Sankriti Anveshak, these lectures were delivered by persons well-versed in their subjects. The lectures were followed by interactive sessions through which the audience was able to gain more knowledge and insights about a remarkable legacy of Srimanta Sankardeva.
Namghar in the Urban Context of Assam
Chairman VKIC, Dipok Kr Barthakur, delivering the welcome address mentioned that this year is significant for VKIC as it the birth centenary year of Eknathji Ranade, the founding father of Vivekananda Kendra and Vivekananda Rock Memorial. His vision to establish a centre to study the culture of Northeast of India led to the inception of Vivekananda Institute of Culture (VKIC) in 1993.
The Prestigious Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture (VKIC) Sanmaan 2014 was bestowed on Sri Birkha Bahadur Subba (Muringla) at a function held at the VKIC premises on January 31 in the presence of an august gathering.
BB Subba was conferred the VKIC sanmaan this year for his contribution towards the rejuvenation of the Limbu cultural life, which has been under threat from various circumstances. In his long and illustrious career, Subba succeeded in building a better understanding about the indigenous faith and culture of the Limbu community. He was among the pioneers to ensure that formal temples dedicated to native gods were established.
The Foundation Day of Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture (VKIC), Guwahati was celebrated on 31 January, 2013 (Thursday) at 5.30 p.m. in the Williamson Magor Auditorium of the Institute. The vital note of the function was the conferring of the prestigious VKIC Sanman.