London: The sixth Annual Nuakhai Bhetghat event in the United Kingdom was celebrated with great enthusiasm on the 7th Oct 2023 at the Hatch End High School in Pinner, London, organised by Juhar Parivar UK. Nearly 250 people, wearing beautiful Sambalpuri attires, mostly families from Odisha attended from all over the UK.
Like every year, the event began with Samalei Puja, and prayers were offered to Maa Samlei for everyone’s well-being. It was followed by a sumptuous lunch provided by Potli, the famous Indian restaurant in London owned by Uttam Tripathy from Sambalpur, offering a spread of mouth-watering Odia delicacies like mansa Jhola, rohi macha, muga nadiya dali, khajuri khata, badi chura etc. It also included “Ambila” and “manda pitha”– popular dishes from Western Odisha, painstakingly prepared by the Odia ladies themselves.
There were several fantastic Sambalpuri folk dance performances and songs by children and members of the community. The highlight for this year’s celebration was a visual story-telling dance by renowned dancer Debabrata Pal. For the first time ever, awards were given out for best garden in order to encourage people to grow vegetables and fruits in their gardens. A fashion show was also organised where several ladies and children displayed colourful Sambalpuri attire.
The cultural event was followed by a DJ night, which made the audience dance on the tunes of popular Sambalpuri numbers. It was a full blast that continued till almost 10 PM and dinner was also served before the audience left the venue.
Again, this year, more than £500 was raised for charity through raffle which will be used for a good social cause in Odisha. Buoyed by the success & response, the group has vowed to make this a bigger event in the years to come.