Dubai: On the occasion of ‘Utkal Divas’ a couple of Odia families residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gathered in Dubai at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world today morning and celebrated Odisha’s formation day.
In a highly symbolic celebration, taking into account social distancing guidelines and all Covid-19 protocols, the people sang Kantakabi Laxmikant Mahapatra’s iconic Odia patriotic poem ‘Bande Utkala Janani’. It was for the first time ever; this iconic poem was sung at the foot of the tallest building in the world.
Apart from this, traditional Odia delicacies, freshly prepared by the Non-Resident Odia families were also presented. Traditional Odia foods like ‘Aarisa Pitha’, ‘Aloo Dum’ and ‘Baraa’ were greatly relished. Partaking of such traditional foods in front of an iconic structure, that too on such a special day was indeed a great experience as per the participants.
Covid-19 has dampened all kinds of celebrations across the World and this occasion was not an exception. However, in this symbolic gesture, the families wanted to convey a message to the people back home, that their love for their motherland has not dimmed and they yearn to visit her as soon as the situation normalizes.
As per Ms. Richa Samanatary, a successful Odia entrepreneur who has been living in UAE for the past 10 years, this celebration was a symbolic one. She said, ‘I personally prepared the Odia foods and derived great joy in enjoying them in front of such an iconic structure like Burj Khalifa’.
A participant, Mr. Priyadarshee Panigrahi who is the General Manager of an FMCG company and is in the UAE for the past 9 years ‘Remembering Odisha on her formation day at a special venue was indeed a great feeling. According to him, ‘reciting ‘Bande Utkala Janani’ at the venue was a unique experience’.
Another attendee, Mr. Rajesh Tripathy, a resident of UAE for the past 13 years and who is associated with the education sector as the General Manager of a large global business school, felt ‘Such symbolic celebrations do inculcate a sense of patriotism and fraternal bonding among all of us’.
‘Utkal Divas’ or Odisha day is observed on the 1st of April every year. On April 1, 1936, Odisha state became a separate province. This year it was Odisha’s 86th foundation day. In 1936, it was the first state that was formed on a linguistic basis when it was carved out of Bihar.