The member of Maithils of North America (MoNA) and Association of Nepal Terrain in America (ANTA) celebrated the first-ever Vidyapati Samaroh as a tribute to fourteenth century-born Mithila Kokil (Cuckoo of Mithila) Mahakavi Vidyapati on December 14.
This was the first time that the Maithili speaking community came together to organize ‘Vidyapati Samaroh’ in North America, that has been a common cultural event over generations in many towns and cities across India and Nepal, bringing to the forefront the rich cultural legacy of Mahakavi Vidyapati as well as eons of poets, litterateurs and artists of all hues (folks singers, performers, stand-up comedians).
This event was envisioned by Aprajita Mishra (President-Elect of ANTA) and the core group of volunteers from both MoNA and ANTA organizations.
The event was patterned on other Vidyapati events organized across the world, with rendering of some very beautiful and soul-stirring Maithili language songs by the Chief Guests Dhirendra Premarshi and Rupa Jha (the renowned husband-wife artist duo from Nepal). Many local artists and Maithil community members presented their own rendering of songs of Vidyapati and other poets and composers. Sudha Jha, Aprajita Jha, Gauri Pandey, Shaily Jha , Meenakshi Mishra, Pushpa Mishra, Shravan Jha and Arya Jha regaled the audience with their great song performances many of them written and composed by Mahakavi Vidyapati himself and ingrained in Mithila cultural folklore.
The event was graced by several leaders of Indian and Nepalese communities including US viz. Federation of Indian Association (FIA) president Alok Kumar, current President of ANTA Vijay Singh, Treasurer of ANTA Mukesh Karna, and ANTA’s DC Chapter President Anil Dwivedy among others.
Hemkant Mishra, was posthumously awarded the first ‘Mithila Ratna Award’ for his outstanding contributions over the last two decades for furthering the culture and traditions of Mithila in North America, India and across the world.
Mithila is the native language of North Bihar and its cultural impact is spread over other parts of India, as well as in the Terai region of Nepal, where majority citizens speak Maithili as their second language.