Dubai, Jan 20 (Odisha.in) Puspuni, one of the most popular agrarian festivals of Western Odisha was celebrated by Paschim Odisha Parivaar at Dubai with fervour on Friday.
The star attractions at this year’s celebrations were Pankaj Bhue and Mohammed Jafar Iqbal, both members of India’s National Blind Cricket Team.
The day long celebrations were held at an outdoor venue, the Al Barsha Pond Park in Dubai. participants were dressed in traditional Sambalpuri attire and popular Sambalpuri songs rent the air.
Many games for adults and kids were organised. A special painting competition for children based on Puspuni was also conducted.
The main highlight of the celebration was the delicious food – a sumptuous Puspuni lunch with traditional dishes like ‘Mansha Tarkari’ and ‘Aambila’ was served to all the revellers.
In the afternoon, India’s bravehearts – National Blind Cricket Team Members Pankaj Bhue who hails from Bargarh and Mohammed Jafar Iqbal who hails from Bhubaneswar joined the celebrations as special guests.
Both these players were also members of the Blind Cricket World Cup winning team in 2012. They were accompanied by Mahantesh GK President, World Blind Cricket Council and Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) and John David General Secretary CABI.
Also present was Aswini Sahoo, the corporate fund raising manager, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled. The players and officials were felicitated by the senior members of the Paschim Odisha Parivaar and Odisha Samaj of UAE.
They were presented with plaques, flowers and other gifts. The atmosphere was charged when the players took the mike and recounted their historic moments and glorious matches. Pankaj was particularly emotional and thanked the Paschim Odisha Parivar for providing him an opportunity to atend the celebration at Dubai.
The Paschim Odisha Parivaar of UAE continues to promote western Odisha’s culture and traditions on foreign soil. Nuakhai Bhetghat – 2016, organised in UAE had ‘Rangabati’ singer Jitendra Haripal’s first performance outside India.
Puspuni 2017 celebrations featured Padmashri Haldhar Nag on his maiden foreign trip. Nuakhai Bhetghat 2017 had internationally acclaimed Sambalpuri and Odissi dancer Saswat Joshi and veteran actor and playwright Atal Bihari Panda as special guests.