Bayans prepare for record feat

Jorhat, Jan. 4: Preparations are in full swing at Mezenga pathar in Titabar where on Sunday 14,830 artistes will play the khol for at least 15 minutes in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record.

The record attempt is being organised by Srimanta Sankardev Sangha ' an organisation that preaches the saint's teachings ' to spread Sankardev's music, songs and dance forms to the world.

Sankardev, in fact, invented the khol (a sort of drum) and it forms an integral part of the Vaishnavaite culture. Artistes who play the khol are called bayans.

The Sangha's secretary, Hariprasad Hazarika, said the artistes had been preparing in different districts for over a month and tomorrow all of them will have their first dress rehearsal at the venue.

The record attempt will take place at 1pm. The artistes will have to perform for at least 15 minutes continuously. They will get two attempts, which will be officially recorded and documented.

Guinness record-holder Abhijit Baruah will be an official observer. Two observers from the India Book of Records and Asia Book of records will also come down from Delhi.

Most of the bayans who will perform are from Sivasagar, there will be bayans from Arunachal Pradesh as well.

The Sangha has collected Rs 20 lakh for organising the event, Hazarika said. Camps have been set up for the artistes to stay and adequate water supply and toilet facilities have been arranged with help from the water resources and public health engineering departments.

The participants vary in age, from 11 years to over 80 years, but they have to be at least 4 foot tall. They also have a dress code: white cotton top, white dhoti with thin border, a seleng sador and a 4-metre turban known as thekeru potia. The age of the participants will be in the age group of 11 years to 80-plus and not less than 4 feet in height.

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