Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rongbong Terang

Terang’s election hailedStaff reporter GUWAHATI, Dec 24 – The All Assam Students Union (AASU) and the North East Students Organization (NESO) has congratulated the newly elected president of Assam Sahitya Sabha noted writer Rong Bong Terang.In a communiqué issued to the press, the student bodies said that the election of Terang, has heralded a new epoch of amity in the State.


For the place in Armenia, see Karbi, Armenia.
The Karbis, mentioned as the Mikir in the Constitution Order of the Government of India, are one of the major ethnic groups in North-east India and especially in the hill areas of Assam. They prefer to call themselves Karbi, and sometimes Arleng (literally "man" in the Karbi language). The term Mikir is now not preferred and is considered to be derogatory.[1] The closest meaning of mikir could said to be derieved from "Mekar".[2]
1 Overview
2 History
3 Language
4 Culture and tradition
5 Economy
6 References
7 External links

[edit] Overview
The Karbis are the principal tribal community in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam, a district administered as per the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India, having an autonomous district of their own since 17 November, 1951.[3] Besides Karbi Anglong district, the Karbi inhabited ares include North Cachar Hills, Kamrup, Marigaon district, Nagaon, Golaghat, Karimganj and Sonitpur districts of Assam; Balijan circle of Papumpare district in Arunachal Pradesh, Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi and East Khasi Hills districts in Meghalaya and Dimapur District in Nagaland. Apart from Assam, the Karbis are also recognised as Scheduled Tribes in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. With a population of around 4 lacs 60 thousand as per 2001 Census, the Karbis constitutes the third largest tribal community in Assam after the Bodos and the Mishings.[4]

[edit] History
The Karbis were among the earliest inhabitants of Assam, so much so that Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha, a noted cultural personality and freedom fighter from Assam has called them the Discoverer of Assam. The Karbis too trace their origin and existence in China and South-east Asia. The traditional Karbi kingdom included Rongkhang, "Kiling", Amri, Chinthong, Nilip-Lumbajong and Longku-Longtar, which corresponds to the present day Hamren subdivision of Karbi Anglong district, Kamrup and Marigaon districts, eastern part of Karbi Anglong and the North Cachar Hills district.

[edit] Language
The Karbi language belongs to the Mikir[5] group of the Tibeto-Burman subgroup of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Notable Karbi scholars like Padmasri Prof. Rongbong Terang and Dr. Phukan Ch. Phangcho in their writings have pointed out the similarities between Karbi language and the Kuki-Chin languages like Meitei and Mizo (Lushai). However, it is of interest to mention at this point that in the Linguistic Survey of India, conducted under the supervision of Sir George Abraham Grierson, the Karbi language has been categorized between the Bodo language group on one hand and the Kuki-Chin and Naga language group on the other.
Like most languages of the hill tribes of the North-east, Karbi also does not have its own script and is written in the Roman script, however it is sometimes written in Assamese script too. Some of the earliest written text in Karbi were brought to light due to the efforts of the missionaries of the Christian missionaries, especially the American Baptist Mission and the Catholic Church. The missionaries brought out a newspaper in Karbi titled Birta as early as 1903. Rev. R.E. Neighbor's ‘Vocabulary of English and Mikir, with Illustrative Sentences’ published in 1878, which can be called the ‘first’ Karbi ‘dictionary’, Sardoka Perrin Kay’s ‘English-Mikir Dictionary’ published in 1904, Sir Charles Lyall and Edward Stack's ‘The Mikirs’ in 1908, the first ethnographic details on the Karbis and G.D. Walker's ‘A Dictionary of the Mikir Language’ published in 1925 are some of the earliest important books on the Karbis and the Karbi language and grammar.[6]
The Karbis have a rich oral tradition. The Mosera, a lengthy folk narrative that describes the origin and migration ordeal of the Karbis which literally means ‘recalling the past’ is one such example.
The Sabin Alun, yet another traditional oral narrative relates the legend of Prince Rama (Ram in Karbi), Lakshmana (Lokhon or Khon) and Princess Sita (Sinta Kungri) in the traditional Karbi and rural setting where Sinta Kungri is adept in weaving clothes and helps her father Bamonpo (Janaka) in his Jhum fields. However, Sabin Alun is not a widely accepted tradition, and it seems to be of recent origin. Many Karbi themselves argue that Sabin Alun is probably an adaptation from the Ramayana, composed when some Karbi people were converted into Hinduism in the sixteenth century CE.

[edit] Culture and tradition
The Karbis are a Bi-lineal, (where both the lineage from the mother as well as father is equally important )society and is composed of five major clans or Kur. They are Ingti, Terang, Inghi, Teron and Timung which are again divided into many sub-clans. These clans are exogamous, in other words marriages between members of the same clan are not allowed. The traditional system of governance is headed by the Lindok or the king, who is assisted by the Katharpo, the Dilis, the Habes and the Pinpos. The Lindok is based in Ronghang Rongbong in the Hamren subdivision of the district. These posts of administration, however, are now merely ceremonial with no real power.
The Karbis celebrate many festivals. Rongker is one such festival held around January-February by the entire village as thanksgiving to the various gods and for the prosperity and the well-being of the community. The Chomkan (also known as "thi-karhi" and Chomangkan) is a festival unique to the Karbis. It is actually a ceremony performed by a family for the peace and the safe passage of the soul of family members who died recently.
Most of the Karbis still practice their traditional belief system, however, there is also a significant proportion of Karbis who follow Christianity. The practitioners of traditional religion believes in reincarnation and honours the ancestors, besides the traditional deities like Hemphu and Mukrang.
The Karbi women are expert weavers and they wear home-made clothes. Their main attire consist the pekok, a piece of cloth with designs wrapped around the upper part of the body and tied into a knot on the right shoulder, the pini, similar to a sarong and a vamkok, a decorative piece of cloth tied around the waist over the pini. The men's traditional dress consist of the choi, a sleeveless shirt with a 'V' shaped neck and loose threads at the bottom, a rikong, which looks like a dhoti and a poho, a turban.

[edit] Economy
The Karbis traditionally practice jhum cultivation (slash and burn cultivation) in the hills. They grow variety of crops which include foodgrains, vegetables and fruits like rice, maize, potato, tapioca, beans, ginger and turmeric. They are quiet self-sufficient and have homestead gardens with betel nut, jackfruit, oranges, pineapple, etc. which fulfill their nutritional as well as food needs. However, with the integration of the traditional lifestyle with the market economy, many of the traditional institutions and way of life has been left damaged, bringing about unending sufferings on the people.

[edit] References
^ Ethnologue profile
^ Meaning of Mikir « Karbis Of Assam
^ Karbi Anglong District At A Glance
^ The Hindu : National : Less than 50 per cent Assamese speakers in Assam
^ Linguistic Lineage for Karbi
^ Criticism « Karbis Of Assam
More information on Karbis of Assam

[edit] External links
Karbi-Anglong district information
[1]ethnography of karbis
Ethnologue profile, old profile [2]
Indian Catholic, Christian leaders gather warring ethnic groups for peace
vdeTribes of Arunachal Pradesh

Rongbong Terang

Rongbong Terang elected Sahitya Sabha presidentStaff reporter GUWAHATI, Dec 21 – Eminent litterateur Rongbong Terang has been elected as president of Asam Sahitya Sabha for the session 2009-11. He will preside over the Sabha’s ensuing Dhemaji session in February 2009. Litterateur and former bureaucrat Kanak Chandra Sarma has been chosen vice-president, while Paramananda Rajbongshi, a teacher of Pragjyotish College, has been chosen general secretary. Opinions of 37 branches of the Sabha’s Barpeta unit were ignored in the election due to the alleged irregularities in the Barpeta district Sahitya Sabha.Outgoing president Kanak Sen Deka congratulated Terang on his election and expressed confidence that the Sabha would make big strides under his stewardship. Our Diphu Correspondent adds: Rongbong Terang, an illustrious son of Karbi Anglong district, was born to Rupsing Terang and Ba-hak Ronghangpi at Lumbungdingpi near Bokoliaghat on January 13, 1937. Terang had his primary education at Purana Kaki and Lanka Local Board Primary School in Nagaon district. After passing the Matriculation examination from Lanka High School in 1957, he studied at Nagaon College and graduated from Gauhati University in 1962. Terang started his career as a teacher in Lanka and Kaki high schools and Diphu Girls’ High School. He later joined Diphu Government College as a lecturer in Assamese and became the Principal-in charge on April 1, 2000. He retired from the college on November 30, 2002. Married to Kanam Hansepi, Terang has two sons and two daughters.Notable works of Terang include novels Rongmilir Hahi (1981), Krantikalar Ashru (2005), Jak Herowa Pakhi (2005), and Neela Orchid (2001). Samanway Prabah (1989) and Faringor Geet (1990) are collections of articles and short stories respectively, while Srimad Bhagawad Gita (1986), Smritir Papori (1998) and Langsoliator Kukrung (2007) are some other works. His uncompiled short stories are Bokulor Diary, Dhuniya Khamor Sithikhon, Sei Phalakkhon and Bisforon, A recipient of Asam Sahitya Sabha’s Bishnu Rabha award in 1982 and Asom Prakashan Parishad award in 1983, Terang was honoured with Padmashri in 1989. He also received Asam Sahitya Sabha’s Basudev Jalan award in 2008 and Mahapurush Madhavdev award in 2008.

Rongbong Terang chosen for 2008 Assam Valley literary award

Rongbong Terang chosen for 2008 Assam Valley literary award
Guwahati, Dec 31 : Eminent litterateur and newly-elected Assam Sahitya Sabha president Rongbong Terang has been chosen for the prestigious Assam Valley Literary award for 2008.
The Williamson Magor Education Trust, which gives away the annual award, informed in a release today that the award will be formally conferred in March. Born in a small hamlet in the hill-district of Karbi Anglong, Mr Terang was seen as a symbol of unity among the hills and plains of Assam. He was a teacher
by profession and went on to pen some unforgettable books in Assamese languagae, notable among them being Rongmilir Hahi, Neela Orchid, Krantikalar Ashru and Jak Herowa Pakhi. Conferred with the Padmashri in 1989, Mr Terang had also been awarded the Bishu Rabha Award, Asam Prakashan Award, Basudev Jalan Award and Pahapurush Madhadeb Award.
--- UNI

Assamese link language of NE: Rongbong Terang

Assamese link language of NE : TerangStaff Correspondent DIBRUGARH, Dec 30 – Eminent litterateur Rongbong Terang, the newly-elected president of the leading literary organisation Asam Sahitya Sabha (ASS) today emphasised that Assamese literature and language would never fade away. Terang who was speaking during a felicitation function at Laxminath Bezbaruah Bhawan here asserted that Assamese as literature and language would remain as the traditional link language of the northeast. “As long as Brahmaputra flows across Assam, literature and language of the state will remain”, Terang, stated.Dibrugarh Sahitya Sabha, literary organisations of various ethnic communities, student bodies and several social organisations felicitated Terang on being elected new president of ASS recently. Former president of ASS, Dr Nagen Saikia and Dibrugarh Municipality Board (DMB) chairman Biraj Das were also present amongst others during the felicitation ceremony.The new president of ASS grabbed the opportunity to seek support and cooperation of all sections of people in leading the premier literary organisation of the state. Terang said that he would ensure that Asam Sahitya Sabha lived upto the expectations of the people of the state.

Source: The Assam Tribune

Rongbong Terang

Ronbong Terang : A writer, academic and Padmashri winner from the Karbi community. He authored the award-winning novel Rongmilir Hanhi and several other books like Samannay Prabah, Neela Arkid (a collection of three novels), Bon Pharingor Geet, Karbi Bhasar Sahaj Path and Ne Lun Ne Lamthe. His Karbi Lamtasam, a Karbi-English-Assamese dictionary published in 1974, is a seminal guide to the language. A professor, he has also won the Bishnu Rabha award.

Rongbong Terang

Rang Bang Terang , the first tribal-Assamese to be the President of Asom Sahitya Sabha.
Rong Bang Terang is elected the president of Asom Sahitya Sabha; the first tribal-Assamese writer to be so. His novels are an evocative portrayal of the life of Karbis in Assam. Rongmilir Hanhi (Rongmili's Laughter)--the novel he is best known for--is regarded a classic in Assamese literature. This decision is welcomed with great excitement in the Assamese literary circuit as people think it will go a long way in cementing unity between the 'hills and plains'. This is also a historic event as he is the first tribal-Assamese writer from the hills to be elected as the President of Asom Sahitya Sabha. Asom Sahitya Sabha, the biggest and the most prestigious literary organisation of Assam has earned a bad name recently with various controvesies surrounding it. Indira Goswami's name was constantly raised but a few months back she told the media that she had 'no desire to be the president' of Asom Sahitya Sabha. Her preference to stay away from the body is seen as a reaction to the controversies. Rang Bang Terang's entry is seen as a major force that'd reclaim the somewhat lost glory of the Sabha.
The Assam Tribune 'Editorial' on Rang Bang Terang and Asom Sahitya Sabha