Orissa Society celebrates 44th Annual Convention

L-R: Dr Uma Mishra, Sushant Satapathy, Jhara Das, Kuku Das, Annapurna Pandey, Sitikantha Das, Dr Pratibha Ray,  Jnanpith Award winner 2012 & Dr Dinanath Pathy
L-R: Dr Uma Mishra, Sushant Satapathy, Jhara Das, Kuku Das, Annapurna Pandey, Sitikantha Das, Dr Pratibha Ray,
Jnanpith Award winner 2012 & Dr Dinanath Pathy

CHICAGO: The 44th annual convention of Orissa Society of the Americas (OSA) held for three days beginning July 4 at Westin Hotel in Lombard turned out to be a huge success showcasing cultural splendor, artistic heritage, and modern progress of the Indian State of Odisha and its people.

More than 1800 people of the Odia Diaspora from various parts of USA and Canada attended the event with great enthusiasm. Sam Pitroda, currently Advisor to the Indian Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations was the Guest of Honor. Dr Pratibha Ray, literary luminary and recipient of the Jnanpith Award for her extraordinary contributions to Indian literature, was the Chief Guest and acclaimed painter, poet and art critic Dr Dinanath Pathy was the Keynote speaker.

With invocation to Lord Jagannath and lighting of the commemorative lamp by Swami Sarananandaji, the spiritual guru from Chinmaya Mission, and patriotic fervor of the national anthems of India and the US reverberating in the air, the participants renewed their commitment to the cause of Odisha. The early immigrants shook hands with the third generation Indian Americans and insisted on the need to preserve the linguistic and cultural heritage of their land of origin.

Pratibha Ray and Dinanath Pathy reiterated the special care members of the minority communities must take to preserve their mother tongue and stay connected to Odisha. Sam Pitroda emphasized on modernization of higher education, rapid industrialization and entrepreneurship. Convener Gyana Ranjan Patnaik dedicated this year’s convention to the youth of the community.

In his speech he insisted that while growing up as integral parts of the American mainstream, it should be a fulfilling experience for the younger generation to stay connected with the community.

In coordination with Manoj Mahapatra (head of Cultural Team), Jhara Das (OSA President Chicago Chapter) and Ipsita Sathpathy (artistic director of Utkala Center for Dance) an inaugural show was devised that paid rich tribute to Odisha’s past such as its heyday as a marine power and a land that transformed the heart of a ruthless conqueror like Ashoka the Great.

Lilting steps of Odissi synchronized with the patriotic fervor of a song like “Bandey Utkala Janani”, folkdance, classical music and a spoof of the young getting initiated to a multi-cultural college campus were intertwined with colorful Bollywood dances.

A thought-provoking play on the dichotomy of a mother’s heart as her son renounces the world went well with poetry readings, a quiz show, and an intellectually stimulating women’s forum. The event was managed extremely well and participants had a remarkable experience of reconnecting with friends and family.

Each night offered entertainment from Bollywood performers like singer Krishna Beura of “Maula Mere” fame, singing sensation Sniti Mishra from Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa and comedian Kuna Tripathy.

Most of the members of Odia community are skilled professionals, so the convention was a retreat – a respite from the hustle of workday life. Sumptuous food was catered by Cuisine of India. Most members carried the memory of the convention with nostalgia and heartfelt delight.

The event was sponsored by Patel Brothers, Air Tours, State Bank of India, Little Odisha, Allishan, International Jagannath Society, Kalinga Hospital, The Crown Hotel, Odisha Tourism Ministry, the Blue Line Shipping Group, Z Estates and Siksha O Anusandhan University along with patrons of the society.

Kanak Hota

0 - 0

Thank You For Your Vote!

Sorry You have Already Voted!