Good response to Odiya food festival

Traditional dishes put up for sale at the food festival by Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj to mark the celebration of Utkal Divas, the Formation Day of Odisha, received an overwhelming response from Odiya and non-Odiya families on Sunday.

“The dishes were quite yummy. So all stalls were empty within three hours of starting the festival,” said Capt. Pritam Mohanty, whose family put up a chaat and pani puri counter.

The rush for various lick-smacking dishes like manda pitha, chhena poda, ghuguni, aloo piaji, kheero saga and malipua was such that the organisers found it difficult to cater to the demand.

“As we are not professional cooks, it was difficult to cater to the heavy demand.

However, we will take sufficient care next time,” remarked Seema Mishra, who served vegetable chops to many.

The festival was inaugurated by Hindustan Shipyard Limited Chairman-cum-Managing Director Rear Admiral N.K. Mishra.

Among the VIPs, who attended the cultural programme included District Collector Lav Agarwal and DIG of Police, Visakha Range, Soumya Mishra, Indian Maritime University Director S.C. Mishra.

Odisha Formation Day was observed as Utkal Divas.

“We are very happy with the response to the cultural programme and the food festival,” Samaj president J.K. Nayak said.

Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj secretary Bijoy Mahapatra and vice-president R.P. Sahu coordinated the cultural programme.

The cultural troupe of Sasmita Sahu deputed by the Department of Culture, Odisha earlier enthralled the audience with Odissi dance, drama, Jhoti, Cita O Muruja and folk dance.  Utkal Divas is observed on April 1 every year to celebrate the formation of Orissa State. It was on this day in 1936, Orissa was separated and made separate State with Oriya-speaking people. Sriram Chandra Bhanja of Mayurbhanj, Gajapti Krushna Chandra Dev of Parlakehmandi, Veer Surendra Sai of Sambalpur, Madhusudhan Das and Gopalbandhu Dash were some of the patriots who were instrumental in the formation of the separate State.

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