**Bhubaneswar:** While people of Odisha celebrated Utkal diwas on April 1 followed by Odia New Year on Saturday, the non residential Odias celebrated the same with much pomp and galore at Dubai, UAE. Odias have made a home away from home in Dubai.
The Odisha Samaj United Arab Emirates (OSUAE), the largest association of Non Resident Odias in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region in association with The Consulate General of India, Dubai and Lasyakala organised Utsav 2018 – Utkal Divas (Odisha Day) Celebrations & the 10th edition of Aekalavya (A Tribute to Guru Shishya Parampara) yesterday on the 13th of April (Friday), 2018 at Global Indian International School, Al Barsha, Dubai. A record crowed of over 500 people were a part of the celebrations.
This year’s celebration was all the more significant because of 2 things – It was organised in association with The Consulate General of India in Dubai and Lasyakala Foundation (a reputed dance institution in Odisha).
Like any typical Indian celebration, the day started with the lighting of the lamp and an invocation to Lord Jagannath. It was followed by a performance on the state anthem of Odisha, ‘Bande Utkala Janani’ written by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra. The Consul General of India Shri Vipul made it to the function and showed his interest in the richness of Odia culture.
Prominent among others were Shri. Premchand, Consul (Passport, Attestation & Community Affairs & Welfare), the Chief Guest for the evening, Guest of honor Smt. Reema Shetty, Co-founder and chief executive of ‘The Foodsters’ Incorporated and Sri Amol Vaidya, Director Global International Indian School.
Odisha was shown at its best offering a whole lot of dance, music, fashion & food was showcased. The morning session comprised of performances by the hugely talented local Odia children, men and women. A tribute was paid to legendary Odia Bhajan Singer Arabinda Muduli and first female superstar of Bollywood Sridevi.
A souvenir was brought out on this occasion. The souvenir was a joint effort of the members of the Odia community of UAE about Odisha. The afternoon hosted the 10th edition of “Aekalavya”, in collaboration with Lasyakala Foundation.
One of the major highlights of this year’s celebrations was the first ever performance of Odissi Legend Padmashri Dr. Ileana Citaristi (Italy born Odissi Dancer) in the Middle East and North Africa Region. She performed Odissi to music of a Meera Bhajan.
An extravagant display of Odia Culture mesmerized the entire United Arab Emirates with its rich culture, dance, music and food.
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