Chandigarh: Utkal Divas, also known as Odisha Day, was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the premises of Sri Jagannath temple in Sector 31D. Odias living in Punjab, Haryana, and the tri-city area participated in the event, which was organized by the Utkal Cultural Trust.
The celebration featured a variety of cultural programs, including Odishi dance, Sambalpuri folk dance, Kathak, and Bharatnatyam, performed by Odia children and school students. The Director of Science and Technology and Renewable Energy cum Chief Conservator of Forests, UT Chandigarh, Sh. Debendra Dalai, was the Chief Guest, while Padmashree Prof. DigambarBehera, Director, Pulmonary department, Fortis hospital, was the Guest of Honor.
During his speech, Sh. Debendra Dalai emphasized the importance of the Odia language and its rich heritage and urged Odias living outside Odisha to pass it on to the next generation. The Utkal Cultural Trust which manages the Sri Jagannath temple in the city organizes the celebration every year.
Trust president Dr. R K Ratho, Vice President S.K.Bhuyan Secretary ArunMallick managed the program.The event concluded with the presentation of mementos to all the performers by the trust president and vice president. Despite unseasonal rain, the spirit of the Utkal Divas celebration remained undimmed.
The Utkal Divas, which falls on April 1st every year, marks the foundation day of the state of Odisha, which was created on April 1st, 1936, as a special province with its linguistic identity. Odia, the principal language of the state, is considered the 6th Classical language of India, and the day is celebrated worldwide by the Odia diaspora to remember the linguistic struggle, identity, and rich cultural heritage of the state.