Utkal Dibasa: Non-Odias express their love for Odisha

Bhubaneswar: As the culture-rich State of Odisha celebrates its Foundation Day as Utkal Dibasa, several non-Odia communities residing here too celebrated the day with much fervor.

Odishatv.in met a few non-natives to get their views on Odisha, their stay in the State and importance of Utkal Dibas.

Sharmila Roy, a Bengali homemaker said, “We have been staying here in Odisha for last 30-32 years and we don’t find any difference between Kolkata and Odisha. People here are very helpful and they have supported us during tough times. I want to stay here for my entire life.”

A corporate trainer from Punjab, Gargi Munjal whose family has been staying in Odisha since decades said, “Although I am born in a Punjabi family, I am odia at heart. We celebrate Lohri as well as other Odia festivals like Rajo.”

“I like Odia culture a lot. People here are religious, simple and friendly. Being a Tamilian, I am a vegetarian and I relish several Odia delicacies including ‘Chhenapoda’,” said Tamil housewife V Subramaniam.

Actor and voice-over artist, Mohan Majithia said, “My father came to Odisha from Karachi after the partition. I was born to a Gujarati family but being born and brought up here I feel more comfortable to be called as an Odia. Odia language and literature is very rich and all these things are in my blood. I certainly can’t tolerate anyone speaking ill about the State or its language.”

Odisha is a home for a large number of people who have settled in different parts of the State.

Suresh Sharma said, “I moved to Odisha from Rajasthan and since then Cuttack is my home for the last 40 years. People here never consider us to be outsiders and the Rajasthani community also celebrates Utkal Dibasa and Pana Sankranti like Odia people with equal joy.”

Liu Kuo Yung, a young Chinese entrepreneur settled in Cuttack said, “My grandfather migrated from China to Kolkata and later my father came here to Cuttack to start a restaurant. We are Buddhists and Odisha is known for its Buddhist heritage so we feel like our home here. There is no such distinction between us and other communities here. Even we have learnt how to speak Odia fluently.”