Nuakhai Bhetghat showcases Odisha’s culture in UAE

Dubai: Paschima Odisha Parivaar of United Arab Emirates (UAE) organised the Prabasi Nuakhai Bhetghat to remember their rich culture to strengthen bond love among people here.

A record breaking audience attended the event held on September 8.

All the rituals were observed during the event, which began at around 11 am. The participants and guests offered new rice to goddess Samaleswari. The music and song during the function made entire atmosphere surreal.

Internationally acclaimed Sambalpuri and Odissi dancer Saswat Joshi, eminent actor and playwright Atal Bihari Panda graced the occasion.

The audience were overwhelmed by the dance performance by Saswat Joshi and a 12-member dance group from Sambalpur Kala Parishad during the function.

Addressing the function as the chief guest, Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul recalled his own association with western Odisha when he was working in Rourkela Steel Plant earlier at the beginning of his career. Besides, Consul Prem Chand and Chief Operating Officer Kamal Kishore Gupta were also present during the programme.

The inauguration set off a day long cultural extravaganza. There were fantastic performances by resident Odias of UAE and their children. Sambalpuri dances by kids on popular Sambalpuri songs stole the show. One of the highlights of the kids’ performances was the moment when a bunch of kids performing on the hit song from Atal Bihari Panda’s movie Aadim Vichar – ‘LikriJhikri’, dragged him onto the stage and made him dance with them. The sight of Panda dancing with the kids was indeed a magical moment and the entire audience cheered them.

Panda who is known to be ‘an 87 year old young man’ regaled the crowd with his mastery over the Sambalpuri language. According him ‘age is just a number’ and that he is still raring to go. The infectious energy displayed by him during his speech and when he danced with the kids, impressed the audience to no end. Panda was very impressed with the scale of Nuakhai Bhetghat UAE 2017 celebrations of the Prabasi Paschim Odias. He also was very happy that his first foreign trip was facilitated to Dubai to be a part of the Nuakhai Celebrations.

Internationally acclaimed Sambalpuri and Odissi dancer Saswat Joshi literally set the stage on fire with his dance moves. He danced to the superhits ‘Rangabati’ and ‘Rasarkeli’ Bo among many other songs. Saswat’s popularity and connect with the audience was very visible. The entire hall stood was on its feet when Saswat came on stage. He engaged very well with the crowd and called them on stage to perform with him.

Odia families from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE presented a dance drama in Sambalpuri, based on Saswat’s life. His rise as a performer was beautifully captured by them in a dance-drama format. Joshi became emotional on witnessing this rendition of his life story and said that this was a very special moment for him. He thanked the performers for their warm gesture from the bottom of his heart.

The 12 Member Troupe from Sambalpur Kala Parishad won over the audience with the sheer power of their talent. Of particular interest was the ‘Dhap’ dance which is performed by an ancient Adivasi tribe of Western Orissa, the ‘Kandhas’.  The dance is an integral part of all major festivals, especially the Nuakhai festival. Other dances/items performed were ‘Mayelajada, Nachnia & Bajnia’. Sounds using ‘Panchavadya’ – Dhol, Nisan, Jhanj, Tasha & Muhuri created a magical atmosphere. The beautiful Sambalpuri attires of the troupe won a lot of appreciation. This was Sambalpur Kala Parishad’s first foreign trip in the last 24 years. The last time they went overseas was in the year 1993 when they performed in Indonesia. This troupe was led by Surya Prakash Guru who is himself a music director.

Apart from being the World’s biggest Prabasi Nuakhai Bhetghat, the celebrations had 3 significant milestones — Saptapar, UAE Bhetghat UAE 2017 Calendar and World premier of Saswat Joshi’s music video Sare Jahan Se Acha.

Saptapar, the world’s First Multi Ethnic Exclusive Sambalpuri Fashion Show (outside India) was a big hit at the event where models from different countries like Russia, China, Thailand, Morocco walked the ramp along with local Odia talents. It showcased a few designs of designer Sujit Meher. It was sponsored by ‘Wardrobe by Arpita’, a leading Indo-Western boutique, based in Sambalpur. All the models wore clothes from ‘Wardrobe by Arpita’. This boutique specialises in designer Sambalpuri wear (among other things).

UAE Bhetghat UAE 2017 Calendar, a unique calendar was released on the occasion of Nuakhai Bhetghat UAE 2017. 12 months of the calendar had models from 12 different countries, wearing Sambalpuri Handlooms and posing against different landmarks of the UAE like the tallest building in the world – BurjKhalifa, the iconic 7 Star Hotel – Burj Al Arab etc. Models were different countries like France, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Kenya etc.  This project is a humble attempt to showcase the richness of the the ‘Magical Sambalpuri Weaves’. This is probably for the first time in the World that an exclusive Sambalpuri Calendar conceived and shot entirely outside India involving people of 12 different nationalities has taken shape.

World premier of Saswat Joshi’s music video Sare Jahan Se Acha, a collaboration with Sare Ga Ma Pa singing sensation Barnali Hota happened at Nuakhai Bhetghat UAE 2017. Produced by ‘Amara Muzik’, the CD was released by Consul General Vipul. This is Saswat’s tribute towards India’s 70 years of freedom.

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