Posts filed under ‘Nuankhai’

People of western Orissa celebrate Nuankhai

September 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

Misconception about “Nuankhai”

-People are using Nuankhai and Nuakhai alternatively. So which one is correct? Nuankhai (in western Orissa we call Nuan whereas in coastal Odisha they call it Nua). Mind your chandrabindu!

-The reporters are reporting it as a harvest festival. Is it the paddy harvest time? Now, the farmers are just finishing their agricultural work. Harvest season is far away. During Nuankhai we search kilometers to get a dhankheda. Even people do not get it. Sometime people use few grains with milk as a “bhoga”. So it is never a harvested grain. It is an agricultural festival to welcome the first “grain”. As always the first “grain” is given to the presiding deity. So while you are reporting please take care.

Wish you a happy Nuankhai!



September 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm 3 comments

Cheerless Nuankhai

The following article is reported  in various websites:

Cheerless Nuankhai:

Balangir observes Nuankhai with pomp:

Cheerless Nuakhai:

Cheerless Nuakhai:

This Year, A Cheerless Nuankhai:

Cheerless Nuankhai:

Gloomy Nuankhai in 2011:

Nuankhai is the main festival of tribal dominated western Orissa comprised of Balangir, Bargarh, Boudh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Sundargarh, and Aathmallik sub-division of Angul Dist.1 It is celebrated on the next day to Ganesh chaturthi. This festival displays the vibrant culture, heritage and occupation of western Orissa. Nuankhai is not a harvesting festival like the other Indian harvesting festivals viz. Onam, Pongal, Bihu, and Baisakhi. During Nuankhai the first grain is given as a “bhoga” to the presiding local deity viz. Sureswari, Samaleswari, Khambeswari, Maheswari, Bhairabi, Mauli, Kali, Shiva, and Jagannath. The grain used as “bhoga” is never the harvested grain. After giving “bhoga” to god and goddess, the people wish each other which is known as “Nuankhaibhet” (English: Nuakhai greetings).

In general, this festival brings cheers among the people of western Orissa. People staying away from family come to their village for Nuankhai.2 All in all it is a full-fledged family get-together and merry making. Often in many villages the villagers participate in a common entertainment program like kirtan, drama, and dance. With the current globalization and apartment culture, many things are changing in western Orissa. The joint families are disappearing. People staying outside villages are not coming to their villages because of hectic work schedule. Many families are sending the Nuan or the new food grain to their family members by post. So the charm of Nuankhai in the village is getting diluted to some extent. On the hindsight, the Nuankhai is not merely a local festival anymore. People from western Orissa is now staying at every major cities of India. With a lot of fanfare and merry making Nuankhai is now being celebrated at Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.3

Although Nuankhai is now celebrate locally and globally; this year there is nothing much to celebrate. The spectre of drought is haunting western Orissa. Reports from western Orissa show that the situation is pathetic in western Orissa. The farmer suicide is increasing in western Orissa due to crop loss and loan pressure.4,5 In addition, the government is constantly supplying water to industries; and this creating water shortage for agriculture. The farmers are protesting against the water supply to industries. However, their demand is ignored by the authorities. Because of this many villagers of western Orissa are depressed. This year Nuankhai is bringing no cheer on the face of suicide affected farmer’s families of western Orissa.

In addition to this, the pollution level is increasing in many places of western Orissa. The state government is giving a lot of importance on industrialization. However, many of the industries are operating without proper industrial regulation. Despite the fly ash deposition in Jharsuguda district no concrete steps have been taken to stop the environmental degradation.6 The importance of environment and its protection is completely ignored and the pollution levels are alarming in various industrial belts viz. Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Hirakhud and Kalahandi.7 In this situation the common man and farmers are the real sufferer.

Further, as the Nuankhai festival approaches, migration of laborers takes place at different places of western Orissa.8 Despite the implementation of different program by the state and central government the migration of poor and landless to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh, Karnatak, Tamil Nadu and other states is still happening.

A big shock for the people of western Orissa in this Nuankhai is the recent announcement of the Sindol project.9 The Orissa govt. has announced that it will construct three hydropower projects at Sambalpur, Subanapur and Boudh districts of western Orissa. After this announcement there were several agitations at different places of western Orissa as people fear that this will be another Hirakud. 9 It may be noted that the oustees of Hirakud displacement are given regular land Pattas only after sixty-five years. Even till today, media is reporting how Hirakud dam oustees’ are fighting for shelter and food.10 Wherever there is water, there are industries and these industries are badly polluting the nearby villages, water, air and land. Therefore, people of western Orissa fear that the construction of the three Sindol hydropower projects will promote industrial giants to establish industries in the nearby areas. This will further increase the pollution at different places of Subarnapur, Boudh and Sambalpur districts.

It is also observed that Orissa government is continuously ignoring the demand of people of KBK and western Orissa. The government is establishing most of the higher education and health institutes in the coastal region; whereas establishing the polluting industries in western Orissa. This is creating a huge regional imbalance. In the above context, the overall situation in western Orissa is pathetic. Therefore, this year Nuankhai is not a very cheerful festival for the people of western Orissa.

Dr.Sanjib Kumar Karmee, PhD
Department of Biotechnology
Delft University of Technology
Julianalaan 136, 2628 BL Delft,
The Netherlands

August 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

Paschim Orissa Agrani Sangathan (POAS) observe the Nuankhai festival

Following report is from The Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: The harvest festival of western Orissa, Nuakhai, may have been over few months back but the fervour still continues in the capital.

Members of the Paschim Orissa Agrani Sangathan (POAS) gathered in hundreds at the Adivasi Ground in the city to celebrate the 10th edition of the Nuakhai Bhetghat cultural festival on Sunday.

Students, corporate and government employees and people from all walks of life, including politicians belonging to western Orissa and those currently based in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, participated in the event.

A number of cultural programmes were showcased at the event that reflected the folk culture of the districts of Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Kalhandi and Bolangir that form western Orissa.

The folk dances included the famous Dalkhai dance, in which young girls wearing traditional handloom costumes performed swift movements on foot tapping beats of the drums.

The Dalkhai folk songs, the Raserkeli and traditional Sambalpuri folks enthralled the audience.

These dances are performed during various festivities of the Sambalpuri speaking region.

The Kalmuhi song accompanied with a little dance presented at the event was based on the importance of tress and a green environment.

The group of male singers who performed the Kalmuhi discussed among themselves various mythological, scientific and cultural aspects of importance of trees.

The Bajasal was a musical rendition where young girls and boys danced in pairs. Cymbals and traditional drums were played in such high spirits that captivated the audience.

“This is a traditional dance item performed before a marriage. Young girls and boys dance with the joy of starting a new life,” said Biplab Bhesra, a student from Balangir.

The artistes from Bhawanipatna, Bolangir, Padampur, Jharsuguda and Barpalli performed the folk dances and music at the event.

“Though the Nuakhai festivities are observed in the concerned districts much before, we hold the festival as a get together of members from Western Orissa who reside for job or studies in the cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack,” said working president of the POAS, Sibashankar Mishra. “People from all communities participate in the event and encourage us,” he added.

Young boys present at the event demanded for a performance of the internationally popular Rangabati song. As soon as artistes from Sambalpur began singing this song, college students started cheering loudly.

“This is the favourite song of almost everyone in western Orissa. No festivity is complete without Rangabati,” said a student Susanta Naik.

Literatteur Umashankar Panda, handloom artisan Surendra Meher, archaeologist J. P. Singh Deo, hockey player Lazrus Barla and singer Punyaprabha Panigrahi were felicitated during the event.

A sand art exhibition by sand artist Sudam Pradhan on the concept of environment and peace as well as a photo exhibition of earlier years of the event were held at the venue.

December 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

“Nuakhaibhet” 2010 celebrated at Bengaluru

On 26th Sept 2010, “Nuakhaibhet Cultural and Welfare Association” organized the 10th anniversary of “Nuakhaibhet” celebration in National Games Village, Bengaluru. This function is organised in consonance with “Nuakhai”, the harvest festival widely celebrated in KOSAL (western parts of Odisha). Non resident Kosali’s residing in Bengaluru, has been organizing this function since last ten years.

Renowned cartoonist Dr. Aswini Kumar Rath from Balangir graced this function as Chief Guest. On this occasion “Nuakhaibhet Cultural and Welfare Association” also felicitated Aswini-Abani, the only cartoonist brother duo of the world. Internationally prize winning cartoons of Aswini-Abani were also exhibited during this occasion.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary year of the celebration a souvenir “Surta” was released containing articles on the festivals, food, culture and also progress at Bengaluru. Prime Minister

Dr.Manmohan Singh and Smt. Sonia Gandhi expressed their wishes to the community through this magazine.

Chief convenor Mr.Abhimanyu Gadtia gave an overall perspective of “Nuakhai” as a function and its importance in maintaining the cultural harmony. Sri Gopal Mishra, Sri …. (san barsa agyan) also addressed the gathering.

“Chitrasen Musical Group” from Titlagarh, Odisha, spellbound the audience with their sambalpuri musical performances with instruments like “Nissan”, “Tasa” and “Dhol”. Many local artists also added colours to the function with their folk songs and dances.

Apart from the cultural activities the most popular program was the Western Orissa quiz competition, which generated a lot of curosity amongst the present audience.

Also ladies Musical chair,Children Drawing competition and Nuakhai Talent Hunt was enjoyed by all and one.

Many intellectuals from Bengaluru and outside were present in the function which was attended by more than 500 people.

People also enjoyed the local cuisines of Kosal like Kardi bhendi Khata, Alu putal etc.

Acknowledgment: Thanks to Shri Satyajit Nayak for sharing the information

September 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm 1 comment

Nuankhai celebration 2010: Report from Samaj

September 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm 1 comment

Dr. Chitrasen Pasayat’s research on the history and cultute of Western Orissa or Koshal region

Following excerpts and pictures are taken from

Dr. Chitrasen Pasayat was born in Dalai Para of Sambalpur town. He is known for his research on history and culture of western Orissa. He has published 17 books in English and Oriya language; published about 50 Research Papers in various National and International Journals namely ‘Man In India’, ‘The Eastern Anthropologist’, ‘Journal of Social Research’, ‘Man and Development’, ‘Man and Life’, ‘Orissa Historical Research Journal’, ‘Orissa Review’, ‘Adivasi’, etc.

Dr. Pasayat is associated with many Academic Associations. He has also Membership in various Professional Organisations. He is the Life Member of the following bodies: (1) Indian Sociological Society, New Delhi; (2) Ethnographic and Folk Culture Society, Lucknow; (3) Institute of Applied Anthropology and Social Research, Kolkata; (4) Orissa Economic Association; (5) The Institute of Oriya Studies, Cuttack; (6) Indian Folklore Association; (7) Indian Academy of Social Sciences, Allahabad; (8) Orissa History Congress.

He is still active in research and writing. Following are some of his books:

Veer Surendra Sai by Chitrasen Pasayat; Paschim Orissa Agrani Sangathan, Bhubaneswar, 2009

Development of Tribal Women by Chitrasen Pasayat Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd., 4374/4B, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110002, India, 200

Adivasi Moukhika Sahitya Parampara by Chitrasen Pasayat ; Sahitya Akademi, 2007

Paschima Odisara Lokagita by Chitrasen Pasayat; Folklore Foundation, 152-Vijay Vihar, Nuagaon Road, PO: Sishupalgarh, Bhubaneswar-751002, Orissa, 2008

Tribe, Caste and Folk Culture by Chitrasen Pasayat; Rawat Publications, 3-Na-20, Jawahar Nagar, Jaipur-302004, Rajasthan, INDIA, 1998

Glimpses of Tribal and Folk Culture by Chitrasen Pasayat;Anmol Publications, 4374/4B, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110002, INDIA, 2003

Subarnapura Darabari Sahitya by Chitrasen Pasayat; Gyanajuga Publication, N-6/428, IRC Village, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar-751015, Orissa, INDIA, 2008

November 22, 2009 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

Nuankhai is a symbol of brotherhood: Governor of Odisha


November 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

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