Dubai: More than 500 people from India’s Odisha state celebrated Odisha Day with cultural programmes in Dubai last week.
The Odisha Samaj United Arab Emirates (OSUAE), in association with the Consulate General of India, Dubai, and Lasyakala Foundation, organised Utsav 2018 - Utkal Divas Celebrations and Aekalavya (a tribute to the guru-shishya parampara or teacher-disciple tradition) at Global Indian International School in Al Barsha on Friday.
The event included a performance of the iconic Odia patriotic poem ‘Bande Utkala Janani’ by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra.
Vipul, Consul-General of India, was at the function to provide encouragement and support to the performers. The chief guest at the event was Premchand, Consul (Passport, Attestation, Community Affairs and Welfare) at the consulate. Other guests of honour were Reema Shetty, co-founder and CEO, The Foodsters Incorporated; and Amol Vaidya, director, Global International Indian School.
The event feature Odisha’s dance, music, handicrafts, fashion and food. The morning session comprised performances by Odia children, men and women. The afternoon session hosted the 10th edition of Aekalavya in collaboration with Lasyakala Foundation.
A highlight this year was the performance by Odia legend Dr Ileana Citaristi, an Italy-born Odissi dancer. “Aekalavya Samman 2018” was presented to two prominent Indian classical dance gurus based in Dubai — Guru Nishi Singh for Kathak and Puja Unni for Bharatanatyam. Both of them performed their respective dance styles as well.
An OSUAE spokesman expressed his satisfaction at the conduct of the event. He said: “It is hugely encouraging to see such a big and a responsive crowd today. We are very happy that we are able to spread the magic of Odia culture on this foreign land. We hope this effort of ours will contribute to enhanced interest in Odisha and will ultimately contribute in some way towards its development.”