Culture and Heritage
North East India is home to different tribal and ethnic groups, making it one of the most culturally diverse regions of the country. Though culturally abundant and unique, the region’s tribal arts and cultural practices seldom find a place in any mainstream discussion and face the threat of disappearance.
APPL Foundation believes that for the coexistence and mutual progress of the diverse communities to be realisable on the tea estates, and in the North East in general, there needs to be meaningful cultural exchanges between them.
The promotion of events to highlight the diverse cultural heritage of the North East, APPL Foundation aims to facilitate a cultural platform where the different tribes can showcase their unique culture, where they represent not simply the culture of their individual tribes but of the entire North East region of India.
The Tea Tribe Community were indentured from various parts of India namely Chota Nagpur, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal and settled in the tea estates set up by the British Planters in 1830’s. Together, they form what is today commonly known as Tea Tribes Community of Assam. These communities have made Assam their homeland and are a microcosm of diversity. It is important to celebrate the uniqueness of their own culture and at the same time, assimilate into the Assamese mainstream. Sirish festival is an attempt to promote, showcase and preserve their distinct cultural traits and art forms and their assimilation into mainstream Assamese culture
Sirish aims to honour community leaders in the field of Literature, showcase and preserve the diverse and rich Culture of the Community by recognising a community leader each in the field of LITERATURE(OIL Literary Award) and CULTURE, with a Trophy, citation and cash of Rs.1Lac each. Centering the goal to promote local art, literature, sports and dances, we held tribal art and dance competitions, pole climbing and archery competitions.
The festival is open to all, free of charge, and last year’s finals saw a footfall of over 15,000 people
2016 – 2017
Held in Naharkatia in February, 2017. In its third year, the Festival was attended by over 35,000 people over the course of the preliminary rounds and the final event.
2015 – 2016
Held in Powai in January 2016 for the second consecutive year, the festival saw a leap in the attendees to 35,000 people.
2014 – 2015
The first Sirish Festival took place in 2014-15 at the Hathikuli tea estate. The festival welcomed participants from all tribes of the tea plantations. The first year of the program witnessed the attendance of 12,000 people.