Assamese to a non-speaker sounds relatively close to Bengali, but the two languages differ significantly in other areas such as syntax, accent, and terminology. It is the language of people who reside in the Brahmaputra valley. The Prahlada Charitra composed by poet Hema Saraswati is most likely the earliest text in a language that is indisputably Assamese. It narrates the tale of how the mythological prince Prahlada's trust in Vishnu saved him from destruction and reinstated morality, and it is written in a largely Sanskritized style. The first notable Assamese poet was Madhava Kandali, who translated the Ramayana from Sanskrit and composed the Krishna story Devajit. Durgavara's Giti Ramayana, Pitambara and Manakara's poems and melodies from the Puranas, and the vast body of uncredited literature known as Mantras were among the most notable works of the Assamese literary corpus.
The history of Assam dates back thousands of years. Tantric literature, Assamese folklore, Buddhist literature, and Vedic literature all serve as the foundation for this history. However, the epics and religious stories are where the state of Assam is first acknowledged. In very early periods, the priestly and warrior classes of Aryans made their way into Assam. Sites in this state have now been linked to numerous locations listed in the epics, including that of the Mahabharata.
The literary history of Assamese
A major literary explosion was brought about by the bhakti movement. The most well-known Assamese poet of that time was Shankaradeva, whose numerous poems and devotional writings are still very popular. Sankaradeva was a major inspiration for poets like Madhavadeva, who composed verses of unparalleled beauty. The buranjis, chronicles written in a prose form brought to Assam by the Ahom people originally from what is now Yunnan, China, are characteristic to Assamese literature.
Kaniyar Kirtan, a drama composed by playwright Hemchandra Barua, was one of the earliest works of literature written in the Assamese language. His plays mostly addressed societal problems. Lakshminath Bezbarua, who launched the literary magazine Jonaki, was probably the most prominent of the early modern novelists. He was also the one who gave Assamese letters the 19th-century Romanticism twist, that was by that point starting to vanish from Western literature. Assamese writers of significance who specialized in short stories include Mahichandra Bora and Holiram Deka. In Assam, literary growth began to trend toward psychological storytelling in the year 1940, but World War II essentially put a halt to it. There was a noticeable disconnect from the past when writing resumed after the war. The impact of Western literature was also clear among Assamese writers at this time. The emergence of the novel was perhaps the sector that experienced the greatest unanticipated expansion. There was a noticeable disconnect from the past when writing resumed after the war. The impact of Western literature was also clear among Assamese writers at this time. The emergence of the novel was perhaps the sector that experienced the greatest unanticipated expansion. Jibanar Batat by Bina Barua, Ali by Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya, and Anya Yug Anya Purus by Debendra Nath Acharya are notable examples of this form. Although authors started experimenting with styles that mirrored the western life, the short story remained a popular literary form.
Q1. What was the first Assamese short story ever written?
Lakshminath Bezbaruah’s Xeuti published in the fourth volume of the magazine “Jonaki” was the first ever Assamese short story.
Q2. Which is the first Assamese poet ever published?
Hemchandra Goswami’s Priyotomar Sithi was the first Assamese sonnet poetry ever published.
Email a Friend