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National tribal folk dance and folk music festival at Junagarh winds up amid ecstatic joy & jubilation

Bankim Mund

Bhawanipatna/Junagarh, Feb14:The three-day-long National Folk Dance and Folk Music Festival here at Junagarh mark its grand culmination this evening with the declaration of the festival as the historic one forKalahandiby the chief guest of the closing ceremony, Mr.Pradipta Kumar Naik, Leader of Opposition, OLA. In his address, the guest of honour, Sri Rasa Bihari Behera, Ex-Minister and celebrated Odia novelist rediscovered the glorious past of Junagarh by designating it as a land of 120 ponds and 180 Orchards carrying the Adivasi culture and heritage since the time immemorial. The other guests of honour Sri GobardhanDas, Ex-MLA, Junagarh and Sri T.S.Divakar, Sub-Collector,Dharamgarh in their speech expressed their thankfulness to Odisha SangeetaNataka Academy for organizing such a festival of grand dimension here atJunagarh.Dr.Ram Krishna Sahu, President, Odisha Nataka Academy andAddlSecretary, OdiaLanguage, Literature, and Culture presided over the meeting while Sri PrabodhRatha, Secretary, Odisha Sangeeta Nataka Academy offered vote of thanks. Mr. Bhanu Prakash Ratha co-ordinated the meeting with a resoundingly coherent note.

The cultural evening of the third and concluding day of the festival began with Bhojpuri dance performed by artists from Bihar followed by Purulia dance and add Bihu performed by artists f re on West Bengal and Assam respectively. This apart, Dhapdance and Sambalpuri dance performed by artists from Raygada and Balangir respectively added hues to the electrifying evening.

In the same fashion, on the 2nd day of the festival, addressing the audience, the minister of Tourism and Culture, SriJyoti Prakash Panigrahi said,” In my childhood, I, despite being a brahmin, was sold to an Adivasi other adhering to the then tradition for five paise; thus I bow down before the Adivasisforever.”.On this occasion, the Minister declared an aid of Rs50,00000(Rupees fifty lakhs only) towards the construction of a Drama Stage here at Junagarh while indicating to conduct Rain Festival at Golamunda in the forthcoming season. “It happens to be my maiden official visit to Kalahandi and joining the Tribal Festival at Junagarh is no less than a pride and glory on my part”, added the minister.

Further, he glorified present Kalahandi as a land of verdancy having earned the distinction of being the 2nd largest paddy producing District in Odisha, and the minister thus designated the land as ‘white pot’.In his address, Captain Divya Shankar Mishra, Minister of Home, energy, and MSME expressed his satisfaction over hosting Summer Festival, Winter Festival, and the ongoing Tribal Festival here at Junagarh while urging for hosting Rain Festival in a bid to glorify Junagarh as a unique town to have hosted Cultural Fest in tune with cyclic Seasons of a year.

“The Kalahandi Adivasis, in consequences of their passionate love for culture, tradition, and nature, have waged a war against the lethal Corona Valiantly”, said the Home Minister, and going further called upon the congregation to pronounce ‘Kalahandi’ not in Hindi accent but in Odiaaccent at all levels. The District Collector of Kalahandi, Dr.Gavali Parag Harsad, in his speech, expressed his gratitude to the Department of Culture, Govt of Odisha for Organising the National Tribal Festival in Kalahandi. Addressing the gathering, the guest of Honour, Sri Jayanta Behera, president of MSA, Bhawanipatna tendered his thankfulness to the two Ministers, Secretary of Sangeeta Nataka Academy, and the concerned Department for being instrumental in an organization such a festival of national magnitude. Dr. Ram Krushna Sahu, President, Odisha Nataka Academy and Additional Secretary, Odisha language, literature and Culture presided over the meeting while Sri Prabodh Ratha, Secretary, Odisha Sangeeta Natak Academy tendered a vote of thanks. Mr. Bhanu Prakash Ratha co-ordinated the meeting with a harmoniously resounding orientation.

To mark the occasion momentous, the venerable guests felicitated Mumbai Musician, Baishnaba Kumar, Kalahandi district seasoned Ghumuracoach and expertise, Satya Naik and Markanda Naik for their life achievement for the cause of Artby presenting them mementos. This apart, the guests honoured the pioneer of Bajashal,Dhyana Nanda Panda, and his team that performed a folk dance at Rajpath in Delhi on this year’s Republic Day to showcase Kalahandi in particular and Odisha in general.

The cultural evening of the second day of the festival, under the mesmerizing anchoring of Bhanu Prakash Ratha, began with Bodo dance performed by Kalabhumi Majuli Association from Assam and followed by Paika dance by Subodh Paramanik and his team from Jharkhand; Nritikaballete by D.Shila and his team from West Bengal. This apart, tinged with local flavor, the artists of Brundavan Sanskrutika Anushtan, Kesinga of Kalahandi performed Bajashal whileDhanuMuduli and his team of Malkangiri, Odisha performed Koya Nacha to steal the hearts of the audience and in turn, raised the occasion to a colourful height.

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