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Bhubaneswar: Non-resident Odias settled in the Netherlands hosted the fifth Kartika Purnima and boat sailing ceremony with much fanfare and religious fervour.
The festival was organised by Odia Socio-Cultural Association, Netherlands (OSCAN). It was attended by hundreds of Odias and non-Odias based in different parts of the Netherlands along with their family, friends, and relatives. The celebration venue De Ruimte Auditorium in the city of Almere was elegantly and aesthetically decorated with colourful Sambalpuri dupattas, ‘Pipili Chandua’ lights, and multiple collections of paper boats befitting to the occasion.
The entire ambience was turned into a mini Odisha.
Since this year’s Kartika Purnima was being observed without COVID restrictions, unusual interest and unprecedented excitement were witnessed among the participants. Started in 2017 with the humble attempt by a tiny group of 15 people, the festival has grown multifold over the years and has attained the height of a mammoth annual fair in Europe.
The festival was inaugurated with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the chief guest, founder of the Dutch organisation ‘Quality For Life (QFL)’ Lelita Bindraban.
QFL is presently engaged in implementing several social welfare projects in remote villages of Odisha’s Puri district. Addressing the gathering, Bindraban showered profuse praises on team OSCAN for their sincere efforts to protect, promote, propagate and popularise the rich art, vibrant culture, golden tradition, and heroic heritage of Odisha in the Netherlands.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman of the World Odisha Society, Kishore Dwivedi, complemented the noble initiatives of OSCAN for spreading the essence and fragrance of ‘brand Odisha’ in Europe.
The highlight of the mega event was the sailing of beautifully decked up boats in the canals of the Netherlands amid chanting of ‘Aa Kaa Maa Boi’. The entire atmosphere reverberated with the sounds of ‘haribol’, and the blowing of conch.
The special attraction of the mega event was the presentation of a spectacular cultural extravaganza by the members of OSCAN. The vivacious varieties of entertainment items include the recital of soul-soothing Jagannath bhajans, enactment of ‘bhagabat tungi’, making of boat competition between different cities of Netherlands, painting competition among children on the theme of Kartika Purnima, best dress competition in the categories of female, male and children and display and distribution of delicious Odia delicacies like aloo chop, jhalmudhi, aloo potala rasa, cheese ball curry, and suji kakara pitha.
The organising team of OSCAN of this year’s festival includes President Saswat Padhi and Senior Members like Sushil Das Mahapatra, Anshuman Mishra, Paritosh Mahapatra, Nilamadhab Mishra, Somanath Lenka, Lopamudra Nayak, Deepak Parida, Debadatta Das, Aurobindo Ghadai, Leoshree Mahapatra and Suvendu Acharya.
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