Houston: United States of America (U.S.A.) recently witnessed the opening up of an Odia Cultural Centre at Mega city Houston in the state of Texas. Named as Dr. S.K.Dash Centre for Odia Culture, the coveted institution was inaugurated by renowned scientist and prominent philanthropist from Minneapolis Dr. Sita Kantha Dash alongwith wife noted poetess Smt Kalpana Dash in a spectacular ceremony. Situated at 3101 Fuqua street the magnificent archaeological structure was built by Orissa Culture Center (OCC). The Center will work as a multipurpose community centre and socio cultural epicentre for the Odia residents staying in Greater Houston locality. Established in 2009 OCC has been designed to serve as a forum for integration of culture, literature, religion and spirituality. OCC plans to establish a temple, Library and Museum in future.
Speaking during the Inaugural ceremony as the chief Guest Dr. Sita Kantha Dash, exudes confidence that this Cultural centre shall play a vital role in projecting, promoting, propagating and popularising Odishan art, Culture, heritage, Sculpture, tradition, tourism, attire and cuisine in Texas as well as in whole of U.S.A. Delivering welcome address Chairman of OCC Dr. Aditya Samal, explained that the centre has been established with the sole and solemn motto of strengthening the bondage and facilitating the interaction between the Odia community staying in Houston and nearby areas. Addressing the gathering President of OCC Dr. Debanand Pati, declared that with the commencement of this centre, the long cherished dream of the Odia residents of Houston has been fulfilled. Dr. Pati sought everybody’s help and co – operation for the further advancement of the centre.
OCC hosted a grand Festival to install the four deities Lord Balavadra, Godess Subhadra, Lord Jagannath and Lord Sudarshan in the newly built building. Chief Guest Dr. Sitakantha Dash and Smt Kalpana Dash performed the worshipping rituals in the presence of large number of devotees during the occasion. Earlier religious practices like Ankura ropana, Adhivasa, Kalash Yatra, Vastu Pooja, Vishnu and Jagannath Sahasranama Yajna have been performed. In a pious and devotional atmosphere. The Pahandis of four deities have been done with the playing of musical instruments like Ghanta, Kartal, Jhanja and loud chanting of Slogans Jai Jagannath. The special attraction of the ceremony was the Pahandi Journey of Devi Subhadra, conducted exclusively by lady devotees. Celebrated spiritual preachers Swami Sarbapriya Nanda and Dr. Surya Narayan Nanda presented their illuminating and elevating religious discourses during the four days long celebration.
The other highlights of the auspicious Event includes the opening of the Ananda Bazar by Dr. Nityananda Upadhyaya and Mrs. Pragyan Upadhyaya and inauguration of Shri Sitaram Foundation Hall by Dr. Arun Verma and Smt Vinni Verma.
Distinguished dignitaries graced the Gala opening Ceremony include Consul General of India in Houston Aseem Mahajan, Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George, Community relation specialist Betty Russo, OCC’s Vice – President Madhab Maharana, Treasurer Debasis Mohanty, Secretary Srimant Dash, President of OSA’s South West chapter Swaroop Panda, Dr. Yamini Nayagandhi, Bikram Kumar, Dr. Gopal Mohapatra, Dr. Arati Nanda Pati, Dillip Patra, Abeezar Tyebji, Shruti Mohanty Rout, Brijesh rout, Jyotsana Jena and Girish Kumar Lenka.