US envoy’s wife enthralls with Rabindra Sangeet

Agartala, Oct 25 (IANS) The wife of a senior American diplomat astonished and enthralled the audience here on Monday evening by singing Rabindra Sangeet in Bengali.

Mesmerising the packed Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan here, Meeryung Hall, the wife of US Consul-General in Kolkata, Craig Hall, rendered nine of Rabindranath Tagore’s compositions, including the immortal creation “Aguner Poroshmoni” (Purify my life

with the purging touch of fire).

Craig Hall, accompanied by Tripura Chief Minister and Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member Manik Sarkar, state Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Bhanulal Saha and other dignitaries were among the engrossed audience.

When Meeryung Hall finished her 40-minute rendition with Tagore’s famous song “Purano shei diner kotha” (Memories of the Good Old Days), the entire audience applauded enthusiastically.

“Music is a universal language. It can bond people of different countries irrespective of caste, creed and religion,” Meeryung Hall’s husband and US envoy Craig Hall told the audience ahead of the three-hour long cultural evening.

Meeryung Hall said that Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s everlasting creations are personally meaningful to her and she is deeply inspired by the poet.

“One day I heard a consulate staff in Kolkata singing one of the Tagore songs. I loved it so much and decided to learn it. ‘Alo amar alo’ was the first song I learnt,” Meeryung said.

An official of US Consulate-General in Kolkata said that Meeryung Hall, of South Korean origin, has been actively performing for more than 25 years in solo recitals, choirs, and with orchestras in the United States, Indonesia, Australia and South Korea and now in India.

“She earned a Master of Music (1992), vocal performance, Baylor University, Texas. Earlier she earned Bachelor of Arts (1990), Major, Vocal Performance, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas. In 1985 she earned Bachelor of Arts, Major, Music Education, Dan-Kook University, Seoul, Korea,” the official added.

According to the official, during the last one year of her stay in the West Bengal capital Meeryung Hall has staged a number of public performances in the cultural city including at the Raj Bhavan, American Centre and ICCR auditorium in Kolkata.

Kolkata-based musician and fashion designer Rajlakshmi has been teaching the nuances of Tagore songs to Meeryung Hall.

State Minister Bhanulal Saha said that the state’s artistes, both Bengali and tribals, have performed many programmes in many countries besides different parts of India.

Saha told IANS: “I was personally awe struck by the performance of a woman from different environment and with just one year’s efforts.”

Meeryung Hall and other Tripura artists’ gave different performances during the Monday evening event, that was jointly organised by the US Consulate General, Kolkata, and Tripura government’s information and cultural affairs department as part of a ‘Collaborative Musical Programme’.

Craig Hall during his two-day visit to the northeastern state also shared his observation on India-US relations with students of National Institute of Technology, Agartala, on Tuesday.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be reached at sujit.c@ians.in)

–IANS

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