Odisha CM celebrates ‘Raja’ with people

The chief minister said in the days to come, the new state government will take all measures needed to promote Odia culture and tradition.
CM Mohan Charan Majhi with children during a Raja event in Bhubaneswar
CM Mohan Charan Majhi with children during a Raja event in Bhubaneswar

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi celebrated ‘Pahili Raja’ with people from different walks of life at a special Raja event organised by the Odisha Language, Literature and Culture department in the capital city on Friday.

Extending his best wishes to the people on the occasion at the State Archives, he said Raja festival is an important part of ‘Odia Asmita’ and heritage. Speaking about Raja ‘pitha’, ‘pana’ and ‘doli’, the chief minister said it is a festival that brings great happiness to people across all age groups, particularly in villages.

“I belong to Keonjhar. In Keonjhar and neighbouring Mayurbhanj, all the shops and hotels are closed during Raja because all the employees go back to their villages to celebrate the festival with their families. We wait for a year to celebrate it,” he said.

Drawing a comparison between ‘Poda Pitha’ and cake, he said that the three-day festival is slowly losing its significance due to the advent of modernity and called upon people to throw the limelight back on this rich part of Odia heritage. The chief minister said in the days to come, the new state government will take all measures needed to promote Odia culture and tradition.

He offered floral tributes to the portrait of eminent poet Fakir Mohan Senapati and planted saplings on the premises of the State Archives. Majhi also released a book on Odisha art and culture.

Later, he attended cultural performances at the State Archives along with people who jostled for space to click a selfie with the new CM. He was accompanied by MLA Babu Singh and culture secretary Shalini Pandit.

Earlier in the day, Majhi mingled with people who gathered outside the state guest house - the temporary office of the chief minister - in large numbers to congratulate him.

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