Jamshedpur, April 1: Odissi performances by artistes from Puri marked the 74th Utkal Divas organised by the Utkal Association of Jamshedpur here today.
The celebrations commemorate Orissa’s birth from Bihar on April 1, 1936. “Statehood gave our community a separate identity. So, the day is celebrated not just in Orissa but across the world. Jamshedpur has some 100,000 Oriya-speaking people,” said Tarachand Mohanty, the secretary of Utkal Association in the city.
The community today remembered Madhusudan Das, the man behind Orissa’s birth. More than 300 members of the association participated in the programme. A meeting was also organised to discuss the current status of the Oriya language and its future.
Pramod Kumar Mishra, the vice-chancellor of North Orissa University was the chief guest on the occasion. Pratap Aditya Singhdeo, a member of the Seraikela royal family, also graced the event.
Lingaraj Kala Niketan from Puri was invited to perform traditional dances of Orissa. About 15 artistes performed Odissi, Sambalpuri and a dance drama reflecting the culture of Orissa. “It is a day when people of the community gather to celebrate freedom,” said Ramesh Patnaik, a member of the association.