Harvest celebration in city - People from western Orissa observe the Nuakhai festival

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By NAMITA PANDA
  • Published 13.12.10
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Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: The harvest festival of western Orissa, Nuakhai, may have been over few months back but the fervour still continues in the capital.

Members of the Paschim Orissa Agrani Sangathan (POAS) gathered in hundreds at the Adivasi Ground in the city to celebrate the 10th edition of the Nuakhai Bhetghat cultural festival on Sunday.

Students, corporate and government employees and people from all walks of life, including politicians belonging to western Orissa and those currently based in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, participated in the event.

A number of cultural programmes were showcased at the event that reflected the folk culture of the districts of Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Kalhandi and Bolangir that form western Orissa.

The folk dances included the famous Dalkhai dance, in which young girls wearing traditional handloom costumes performed swift movements on foot tapping beats of the drums.

The Dalkhai folk songs, the Raserkeli and traditional Sambalpuri folks enthralled the audience.

These dances are performed during various festivities of the Sambalpuri speaking region.

The Kalmuhi song accompanied with a little dance presented at the event was based on the importance of tress and a green environment.

The group of male singers who performed the Kalmuhi discussed among themselves various mythological, scientific and cultural aspects of importance of trees.

The Bajasal was a musical rendition where young girls and boys danced in pairs. Cymbals and traditional drums were played in such high spirits that captivated the audience.

“This is a traditional dance item performed before a marriage. Young girls and boys dance with the joy of starting a new life,” said Biplab Bhesra, a student from Balangir.

The artistes from Bhawanipatna, Bolangir, Padampur, Jharsuguda and Barpalli performed the folk dances and music at the event.

“Though the Nuakhai festivities are observed in the concerned districts much before, we hold the festival as a get together of members from Western Orissa who reside for job or studies in the cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack,” said working president of the POAS, Sibashankar Mishra. “People from all communities participate in the event and encourage us,” he added.

Young boys present at the event demanded for a performance of the internationally popular Rangabati song. As soon as artistes from Sambalpur began singing this song, college students started cheering loudly.

“This is the favourite song of almost everyone in western Orissa. No festivity is complete without Rangabati,” said a student Susanta Naik.

Literatteur Umashankar Panda, handloom artisan Surendra Meher, archaeologist J. P. Singh Deo, hockey player Lazrus Barla and singer Punyaprabha Panigrahi were felicitated during the event.

A sand art exhibition by sand artist Sudam Pradhan on the concept of environment and peace as well as a photo exhibition of earlier years of the event were held at the venue.