Bhubaneswar: Kuwait Odisha Association (KOA), a socio-cultural body registered with Indian Embassy Kuwait since 1989, celebrated ‘Utkal Divas’ function on April 28 to commemorate Odisha Foundation Day (1st April 1936), in the auditorium of Indian Community School, Senior, Salmiya, Kuwait.
Ambassador of the Indian Embassy, Kuwait Dr. Adarsh Swaika graced the occasion and opened the function with ‘lighting of the lamp’, along with several dignitaries and sponsors. The Lamp Lighting ceremony combined with the playing of Shlokas in the background brought a serene atmosphere. It was followed by the opening song ‘Bande Utkal Janani’ sung by the Odia people including a beautiful Odissi dance number performed by Odia kids, in Kuwait.
KOA President Rakesh Rout remembered the early days of Odisha and recollected the glorious past of the great land called ‘Kalinga’ and its traditions.
Ambassador Swaika, in his key address, expressed gratitude to KOA members for their contributions towards keeping up Odisha’s glorious culture in the faraway country of Kuwait.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s video message on this occasion to all Odias in Kuwait gave all a boost to take forward the program with more enthusiasm.
A coveted dignitary of Odias in Kuwait Dr. Dev Mohanty addressed the gathering with his brief speech while encouraging and motivating the people of Odisha in Kuwait.
The stage was graced by scintillating local cultural programmes performed by Odia kids of the KOA family. Dance events were choreographed by Odia ladies and kids, which were enjoyed by the audience.
Famous budding singers from Odisha Lipsa Mohapatra and Shashank Sekhar performed with their own composed songs and some amazing Odia and Hindi movie songs. When they were performing their solo and duet songs, they fascinated local Odias to come to the dias and dance with them. An interactive session between the singers and the audience was savored by every Odia present inside the hall.
A colorful souvenir titled ‘KOA Smaranika 2023’ with a beautiful cover page designed by Santosh Mishra, with encouraging and motivating messages from the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, Odisha Chief Minister, Puri Gajapati Maharaja, KOA President and General Secretary, and containing many Odia articles by Odia people in Kuwait including photos of events conducted by KOA during FY 2022-23 was released.
The souvenir captured the literary talents of Odias in Kuwait, a spokesperson said.