Cassian Baliarsingh

The historic Bali Yatra commemorating the rich maritime trade of Odisha kicked off in the Millennium City of Cuttack on Tuesday on the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima.

As the week-long fair is dedicated to the centuries-old maritime trade links between India and (Bali) Indonesia,  both Odisha and Indonesia are looking forward to boosting maritime trade, civilisation, economic growth and cultural linkages on the eve of the historic Bali Yatra 2022.

This year, Hanafi, the cultural councillor of Indonesia Embassy in New Delhi, has flown to Cuttack to participate in the 8-day celebration of Bali Yatra.

This morning, he paid a visit to the Odisha State Maritime Museum and expressed his happiness. As a sign of appreciation and brotherly ties, he also gifted a few cultural and traditional items from Indonesia, to be kept in the museum.

He thanked the State government, Kalinga International Youth Foundation and Indonesia government for the joint efforts to make Bali Yatra a world-class festival.

Speaking to media, Hanafi said, “There are many purposes for my visit actually. First, today is the first day of Bali Yatra, so we will be there. Moreover, we are handing over a few items for display at the maritime museum, particularly for the Indonesian gallery.”

“I feel extremely elated that the ties between Odisha and Indonesia are growing strong. I visited the maritime museum and was very happy to see all the age-old items of Indonesia being preserved here. We also have preserved several items of Odisha in our museum in Indonesia,” he added.

On the other hand, Kalinga International Youth Foundation, President, Bibhu Prasad Swain said, “This initiative has started with the help of Indonesia Embassy in New Delhi, Government of Indonesia, Government of Bali, Odisha State Maritime Museum and Odisha government. There is a continuous dedication from all of them for the revival of the maritime trade. Indonesia has a lot of love and affection for Odisha. Especially, they are contributing a lot to the maritime museum and they will continue this in the future too.”

Worth mentioning, Bali Yatra is a recreation of the annual event in ancient India, where merchants would sail off to cities in Southeast Asia for trade. The merchants would then settle in the port cities of Java or Sumatra to carry out their business and return to India with the advancing monsoon winds.