Jau Kandhei Bahaghara, a folk ceremony, espouses rejection of dowries in marriages
Barkul: The recent development of ODI-ART complex and Jau Kandhei Bahaghara, a symbolic marriage, at Barkul on the bank of Chilika Lake has provided an impetus to the preservation of the state’s rich cultural heritage and spread awareness on the ills of dowry.
The whole complex spreads across five acres of land. The complex aims to showcase the rich folk and tribal art heritage and create a cultural hub with the display of live performances. This project is undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India and Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha.
The Centre is ably guided by eminent personalities like Satyananda Mishra, IAS (Retd.), former Chief Information Commissioner Abasara Beuria, IFS (Retd.) and former Ambassador D.K.Roy IRS (Retd.) among others. Prasana Kumar Dash, IRS, presently Member of CBDT is the adviser and Swadesh Sundar Patnaik, former Chairman of Odisha Staff Selection Commission is the current chairman of the Reception Committee.
ODI-ART complex and the Purvasha Folk and Tribal Art Museum was inaugurated December 9, 2017 by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The inauguration was followed by ‘Shelduck Folk Art Carnival’, a week-long national level folk carnival at Chilika. The museum currently exhibits quintessential rural folk and tribal paintings, sculptures and artefacts, Patta paintings, engraved palm leave arts, traditional Osakothi, Ganjappa playing cards, paddy crafts and masks collected from the state and abroad. There are sixteen galleries in the museum and ten gazebos including a big amphitheatre.
Jau Kandhei Bahaghara
As a regular annual event, Shelduck Folk Dance and Music carnival has been organised at the same venue this year. The main attraction of this year’s programme was ‘Jau Kandhei Bahaghara’, a colloquial folk ceremonial procession joined by nearly ninety youths from Berhampur as the groom party led by Sri Ram Chandra Chyaupatnaik, MLA, Berhampur and about sixty youths were flagged off from Bhubaneswar by Priyadarshi Mishra, MLA, Bhubaneswar North as the bride party.
Both the parties met at the wedding venue ODI-ART complex at Barkul in a colourful procession with traditional Jodi Sankha, Jodi Kahali, Ghoda Nacha and Bagha Nacha among other folk dances. The groom ‘Shiva’ and bride ‘Kalijai’ were escorted to the wedding stage in separate palanquins. The symbolic wedding was conducted according to the Odia tradition.
In the course of wedding, both the parties took oaths to keep their respective towns clean, avoid boozing and usage of polythene. The Bhubaneswar party promised to plant at least five thousand saplings in Berhampur within a year. Sudhir Rout of Berhampur played the role of groom’s father and Sakti Prasad Nanda as bride’s father. The Jau Kandhei was prepared by artist Kesu Das of Balasore. The message of this colloquial folk ceremony was to make the marriage function simple and dowry free.
The ODI-ART amphitheatre and the annual folk dance festival was inaugurated recently by Bibhuti Bhusan Harichandan, Honourable MLA, Chilika (Khordha) who appreciated the noble work of the society and promised to help the organisation in developing the complex and the Museum as a world class tourist destination.