Chennai celebrates Odisha fest - The New Indian Express

Chennai celebrates Odisha fest

Published: 02nd October 2012 08:48 AM

Last Updated: 02nd October 2012 11:31 AM

Though Pongal, the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu, is a couple of months away,  Chennai city celebrated the harvest festival of Odisha, ‘Nuakhai Juhar’, here on Sunday.

‘Nuakhai’ is an agricultural festival mainly celebrated by the people of Odisha to welcome the new rice harvest session of the season. The word ‘Nuakhai’ means new food or new rice, where the people of Odisha have the first grains of paddy harvested after the Kharif crop season. It is a social event celebrated to acknowledge Mother Earth’s love and kindness. The festival is mainly celebrated in the western parts of Odisha.

This year, ‘Nuakhai Celebration – 2012’ was celebrated in a grand manner at Aringnar Anna Arangam, Chetpet. Shri Niranjan Pujari, Minister for Industries & Excise, Government of Odisha, the chief guest, inaugurated the festival. In his address he said, “Celebrating different festivals of Odisha in Chennai is commendable and through such festivals we can bring people from different states together. We should propagate Odia culture outside Chennai, so that other parts of the nation can also have the opportunity to know our tradition”. He also spoke on cultural exchange between the Odisha and Tamil Nadu in the forms of education and employment. Shri Banabihari Panda, Convenor of Nuakhai Celebration committee and Shri Ratan Chand Mishra, Coordinator, also spoke on the occasion. The chief guest address was followed by Sambalpuri Folk dance, a traditional dance performance from the people of western Odisha, sponsored by the department of culture, Government of Odisha.

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