Report by Basant Rath, Nabarangpur: The Mondei festival and Pallishree mela began here on Friday. The inaugural puja was performed at Maa Bhandara Gharani the presiding
deity of this district. The rituals were performed at the temple toobtain the divine ordain (Agyanmala) of the deity.
Chief guest SC and ST Jagannath Saraka, Nabarangpur MP Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Advisor of SC and ST development department, Muna Khan, Nabarangpur MLA Sadasiva Pradhani, Dabugam MLA Manahar Randhari, Umerkote MLA Nityananda Gond, Zilla Parisad chairperson, Bhagabati Bhatra, Collector Ajit Kumar Mishra, SP Nitin Kusalkar, present at inaugural puja and procession.
The colourful carnival procession passed through the main road-New Bus stand-Hirli road thoroughfares of the town and reached near the festival podium at Hirli Mondei ground. Besides the traditional folk dance troupes’ students from various SHGs, members of various outfits participated in the procession. The Mondei carnival reached Mondei Rangamanch in the evening. The symbolic Mondei Mahotshav Bima, Bhimani, were installed near the Mondei ground. Later Palishree Mela was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, and other guests, Speaking on the occasion Minister Jagannath Saraka, said through Mondei, the district showcases the hidden talent and also reaches out to the people to create awareness about the different government schemes. It is an opportunity for the cottage and rural industries to
display their products at a Handicrafts exhibition Saraka, said.
Presiding the meeting collector and chairperson of district council of culture Ajit Kumar Mishra, said that ‘Mondei’ festival strives to proclaim the rich heritage of art, culture and tradition of Nabarangpur district. Through an appropriate platform it spreads the message of love and friendship, unit and integrity, peace and tranquillity, prowess and prosperity.
As many as eight cultural troupes performed their dances in day one. Some of the attractions of the festival were Dhamsa dance, Rinjodi, Chutukuchata of Balangir, District Supply and Marketing Society (DSMS) is organising the five- day Pallishree Mela on the sidelines of the festival. This year, 300 stalls selling household articles, forest produce and food products have been set up at the mela.
Traditional ‘Mondei yatra’ is a popular religious festival celebrated with pomp and gaiety in rural areas. During the yatras, village deities are worshipped post-harvest. The name of the mega cultural festival owes its origin to such yatras. ‘Mondei’ is the brainchild of the then collector Arabind Padhee. It was organised for the first time in 2002, the year Nabarangpur district completed a decade of its formation. The aim of the festival is to provide a platform to the tribals to showcase their talents and for cultural exchanges. Every year at least a lakh people witness the festival.