Navi Mumbai gets a taste of Odisha’s heritage

Striking a pose: Odissi dancers perform at the Odisha festival in Navi Mumbai.

Striking a pose: Odissi dancers perform at the Odisha festival in Navi Mumbai.  

Artistes display skills at festival in Seawoods mall

What began as an effort by four people to showcase their culture, gathered support from several others and generated a footfall of close to one lakh.

The Odisha Festival held at Seawoods Grand Central Mall saw 200 artistes from the eastern State showcasing its rich socio-cultural heritage, architecture and folk culture.

“We have been living in Maharashtra for a long time now and wanted to give back something to the State and its people, so we planned to introduce our heritage here,” Gadadhar Behara from Navi Mumbai’s Odia community said.

The festival was the brainchild of Mr. Behara, Suresh Dash, R.K. Mohapatra and Aravinda Jati.

The festival commenced on November 8 and went on till Sunday. “From the mythological temples to tribal villages, fine white sands to religious heritage, Odisha has everything a place could offer. This was the first-of-its-kind festival organised by Odia Samaj outside the State,” Mr. Behara said.

Ranapa, Odissi, Mahari dance performances, along with mallakhamb, sand animation and flute recital were some of the events that kept visitors engrossed. The government of Odisha also set up handloom stalls at the festival. “The sand animation was the first exhibit that welcomed the audience. The biggest challenge was to arrange sand of the desired quality. Around nine tonnes of sand were brought in after two failed attempts, which did not meet the quality,” Mr. Behara said. The event also had several workshops for children and adults.

“We received support of 65 Odia organisations across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane, without whom it would have been impossible to conduct this event. Celebrities such as flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and Ileana Citaristi — an Italian born Odissi and Chhau dancer also visited the event,” Mr. Dash said.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 7:41:35 PM |

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