Anglo-Indians return home to Odisha to revel in New Year spirit

Khurda: While the New Year comes with new hopes and aspirations, a group of Anglo-Indians come back to Jatni in Khurda district every year to remember their past connection to the land. These foreigners from places as far as Australia, Canada and England assemble to re-visit their past while revelling in New Year celebrations.

Before Independence, the ancestors of these Anglo-Indians worked with Bengal-Nagpur Railway at Jatni in Odisha. The unique event is organised by the Anglo-Indian Society to commemorate the connection of these Anglo-Indians with Jatni.

“As this is our birth place, we assemble here from far off places like Australia, England, Canada to celebrate Christmas and New Year,” said Dezriya Marine.

Another reveller Robert Benzamin said “We have been celebrating this way for over 100 years and it has become a tradition now. We assemble here from across the world.”

“The people who are born in Jatni come back to their relatives from far off places at this time of the year,” said Alexander, another attendee.

This year, the event witnessed the participation of over 200 Anglo-Indians. The celebrations featured a beauty pageant dance programmes, and the revellers also enjoyed themselves around camp fire and fireworks.