On Rajo, when west meets east

Bhubaneswar: Some of the foreign tourists visiting the state on Tuesday experienced Odisha`s rich culture and heritage on the occasion of three-day "Rajo" festival. Besides, the entire state was also draped in the spirits of festivity and fervour on the inaugural day of the festival.

On the occasion, the visitors were seen in sync with the local girls with colorful mahendi designs etched on their hands and alta on their feet. The annual festival, also famous for homemade cakes like "poda pitha" and "monda pitha", was sumptuously enjoyed by the folks. Finally, they too got on to the desi swing rides. 

“I think this festival is fantastic. It has been absolute honour to share it with the people in Salia Sahi. I watched the community all come together and celebrate and see the children play games. I am so happy and that has been so wonderful,” tourist Linda said.

The special jail here at Jharpada was also abuzz with festivity. The children of inmates serving jail term were invited to celebrate the occasion. The prison officials, state minister Sharada Nayak, Mayor Anant Narayan Jena and local BMC Corporator were also present during the event. A city-based NGO which organised the gathering also distributed cakes and sweets to the participants.

This apart, Rajo was no different in the slums here as the girls were agog to enjoy every bit of the three-day  gala event. Clad in new clothes, the girls enjoyed the swing rides hung from trees. As the festival also gives the male members a three-day break from their work schedules, the members didn’t let the opportunity go out of their hands to spend the occasion with their near and dear ones.

“We woke up early in the morning and get ready for the festival. Our mothers prepare “poda pitha” and other delicious dishes for us. We enjoy a lot during these days,” said Reena, a slum dweller.