Jitendra Haripal enthralled audience during Nuakhai Bhetghat at Dubai
Dubai: The Western Odisha Community of United Arab Emirates (UAE) organized ‘NUAKHAI BHETGHAT UAE – 2016’ in the Auditorium of the Indian Consulate at Dubai on the 7th of October, 2016.
The Chief Guest at the event was Shri Anurag Bhushan, the Consul General of India, Dubai. The ‘Star Attraction’ of the event was Shri Jitendra Haripal, the male voice in the famous and super hit Rangabati Song in Sambalpuri language.
The Indian Consulate Auditorium was transformed into a Mini Western Odisha. The air was full of melodious Sambalpuri Songs and the beats of Dhol, Nisan, Tasha & Jhanj reverberated in the auditorium. The crowd was very aptly dressed for the occasion. Ladies were wearing their best Sambalpuri Handloom Sarees while the men wore beautiful Sambalpuri Kurtas and shirts. The Children looked lovey in their attractive Sambalpuri dresses. It was indeed a feast for the eyes.
The event began at around 11am in the morning with the rendering of Samalei Bandana. Prayers and the ‘Nua Dhan’ were offered to Goddess Samaleswari by Shri Anurag Bhushan and Shri Jitendra Haripal. The inaugural lamp was also lit by both of them.
The Consul General wished the crowd ‘Nuakhai Juhaar’ and began his inaugural address. He said he was delighted to attend the ‘NUAKHAI BHETGHAT’ celebrations. He appreciated the initiative to organize NUAKHAI BHETGHAT in the UAE and that he was very happy to see that Western Odisha Community in UAE is preserving their cultural and traditional heritage by organizing such celebrations. Mr. Anurag in his speech mentioned that role of ‘Kuladevi’ and ‘Goddess is very important in our life and talked about how whenever he goes to his native place, his father takes him to temple of his ‘Kuladevi’. He also mentioned that worshiping ‘Mother Nature’ and worshiping ‘Goddess’ is embedded in our life. He said NUAKHAI creates bonding and togetherness and he is always happy to associate with this type of cultural and traditional celebration.
To commemorate the event, a desk-top calendar depicting iconic images & culture of Western Odisha was unveiled by Shri Bhushan and Shri Haripal. It was given to all the attendees as a souvenir.
Shri Bhushan also felicitated Shri Haripal and his team with mementos.
Shri Jitendra Haripal said that he was overwhelmed to note that Nuakhai Bhetghat is being organized in the UAE in such a grand way and that everyone was so excited and enthusiastic about it. He mentioned that Nuakhai is not only a festival but it’s an occasion of worshiping Maa Samalei and sharing happiness and togetherness with each other. Seeing the celebratory mood and enthusiasm of the Western Odisha Community here in the UAE, he said that he was feeling as if he was in Sambalpur, celebrating Nuakhai in our motherland.
This event has many firsts to its credit:
1. For the first time ever, RANGABATI, the iconic Sambalpuri Song was performed outside India by it’s original male lead-singer Shri Jitendra Haripal. Shri Haripal is a pioneer in the field of Sambalpuri Folk Music and this was his first performance on foreign soil.
2. Probably this is the first time in the world that a NUAKHAI BHETGHAT was organized at the premises of an Indian Consulate anywhere in the world.
3. This gathering – where more than 250 people came and enjoyed themselves, appears to be the largest ever NUAKHAI BHETGHAT organized on foreign soil.
The inauguration set off a day long cultural extravaganza. There were fantastic performances by resident Odias of UAE and their children. Sambalpuri dances by kids performed on popular Sambalpuri songs stole the show. Many Sambalpuri songs were also rendered by popular local Odia singers. Sambalpuri dances by adults set the stage on fire, with the crowd joining them in their dances.
One of unique programs during the event was the recreation of the famous ‘Dhanu Yatra’ of Bargarh. It appeared that ‘Kansa Maharaj’ had descended onto UAE.
A sumptuous lunch with traditional dishes like ‘Ambila’ was arranged. The guests relished the food. Many guests exclaimed that the lunch took them back to their motherland.
A LIVE performance of Shri Jitendra Haripal was the icing on the cake. Shri Haripal rendered his famous hit song ‘RANGABATI’ which send the crowd into raptures. Men, Women and Children all danced to their heart’s content to Shri Haripal’s songs.
The Hon’ble Governor of Odisha Dr. S.C.Jamir and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik greeted the community on NUAKHAI and wished the event all success through their written messages. Both of them were happy to learn of NUAKHAI being celebrated in the UAE. Video messages from Loka Kabi Padmashree Haladhar Nag, Acclaimed Bollywood director Padmashree Nilamadhab Panda, Acclaimed Actor, Director and Producer Shri Sadhu Meher and Shri Kishore Mohanty, Chairman, Western Odisha Development Council were also played out before the audience.
As a parting gift, the guests were given a bag containing the Western Odisha Inspired Desk Top Calendar and a packet of traditional sweets (Aarisa, Dantri Khaja, Khir Gaja, Pheni & Boondi Ladu). These sweets were specially made in Sambalpur and flown in for the NUAKHAI BHETGHAT.
This event is definitely a very proud moment for the Western Odisha Community of UAE which always focuses on spreading awareness about the culture and traditions of its motherland. The community feels honored that they are the first Probasi Western Odiyas who got the opportunity to see RANGABATI being performed LIVE on foreign soil. The presence of the highest Indian Diplomat in Dubai – the Consul General of India, Shri Anurag Bhushan was also encouraging and was seen as acknowledgement of Western Odisha’s rich cultural heritage. NUAKHAI Celebrations in UAE have started since 2014 and with each year its scale is growing and the event is getting bigger and bigger.