Odia Language Essays

Odia (ଓଡ଼ିଆ oḍiā (help·info)) (formerly known as Oriya)[5] is a language spoken by 4.2% of India's population.[6] It is a classicalIndo-Aryan language that is spoken mostly in eastern India, with around 33 million native speakers globally, as of 2007.

It is the predominant language of the Indian state of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa)[7] where native speakers make up 75% of the population,[8] and is also spoken in parts of West Bengal,[9]Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh,[10] and Andhra Pradesh.[11]

Odia is one of the many official languages of India; it is the official language of Odisha and the second official language of Jharkhand.[12][13][14] The language is also spoken by a sizeable population of at least 1 million people in Chhattisgarh.

Odia is the sixth Indian language to be designated a Classical Language in India on the basis of having a long literary history and not having borrowed extensively from other languages.[15][16][17][18]

The earliest known inscription in Odia dates back to the 10th century AD.[19]

Geographical distribution[edit]

India[edit]

Odia is mainly spoken in the state of Odisha, but there are significant Odia-speaking populations in other areas of India, such as the Midnapore district[citation needed] of West Bengal,the East Singhbhum,West SinghbhumSeraikela Kharsawan district, Simdega, Gumla, Khunti, Ranchi district of Jharkhand[citation needed],the Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Vishakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh[citation needed] , and the eastern districts of state.Chhattisgarh[citation needed] Due to the increasing migration of labour, the west Indian state of Gujarat also has a significant population of Odia speakers, with Surat being the city with the second largest[citation needed] Odia-speaking population in India. Significant numbers of Odia speakers can also be found in the cities of Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Mumbai, Raipur, Jamshedpur, Baroda, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Kolkata, Kharagpur, Guwahati, Shillong, Pune, and Silvassa.[20]

Foreign countries[edit]

The Odia diaspora constitute a sizeable number in several countries around the world, totalling the number of Odia speakers on a global scale to 55 million.[21] It has a significant presence in eastern countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, mainly carried by the sadhaba, ancient traders from Odisha who carried the language along with the culture during the old-day trading,[22] and in western countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and England as well. The language has also spread to Burma, Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Middle East countries.[21]

Forms[edit]

Standard Odia[edit]

Kataki Odia or The Odia of Mughalbandi region is considered as Standard Odia due to literary traditions. It is spoken mainly in the eastern half of the state of Odisha, in districts like Khurdha, Puri, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Dhenkanal, Angul and Nayagarh district with little variation.[23]

Major forms or dialects[edit]

  • Midnapori Odia: Spoken in the undivided Midnapore District of West Bengal.
  • Singhbhumi Odia: Spoken in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Saraikela-Kharsawan district of Jharkhand
  • Baleswari Odia: Spoken in Baleswar, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.
  • Ganjami Odia: Spoken in Ganjam and Gajapati districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Sambalpuri Odia Spoken in Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Debagarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur and Sundargarh districts of Odisha and by some people in Raigarh, Mahasamund, Raipur districts of Chhattisgarh state.
  • Desiya Odia: Spoken in Koraput, Rayagada, Nowrangpur and Malkangiri Districts of Odisha and in the hilly regions of Vishakhapatnam, Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Bhatri: Spoken in South-western Odisha and eastern-south Chhattisgarh.
  • Halbi: Spoken in undivided Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. Halbi is a mixture of Odia and Marathi with influence of Chatishgarhi tribal languages.
  • Phulbani Odia: spoken in Phulbani, Phulbani Town, Khajuripada block of Kandhamal, and in nearby areas bordering Boudh district .This language gained momentum during the amalgamation of kandhamal(Phulbani), and Boudh, region into a single district Phulabani,

Minor non literary and tribal forms or dialects[24][edit]

  • Sundargadi Odia : Variation of Odia Spoken in Sundargarh district of Odisha and in adjoining pockets of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
  • Kalahandia Odia : Variation of Odia spoken in undivided Kalahandi District and neighboring districts of Chhattisgarh.
  • Kurmi: Spoken in Northern Odisha and South west Bengal.
  • Sounti: Spoken in Northern Odisha and South west Bengal.
  • Bathudi: Spoken in Northern Odisha and South west Bengal.
  • Kondhan: A tribal dialect spoken in Western Odisha..
  • Laria: Spoken in bordering areas of Chatishgarh and Western Odisha.
  • Aghria: Spoken mostly by the ingenious people of Aghria caste in Western Odisha.
  • Bhulia: Tribal form spoken in Western Odisha.
  • Sadri: A mixture of Odia and Hindi language with major regional tribal influence.
  • Bodo Parja / Jharia: Tribal dialect of Odia spoken mostly in Koraput district of Southern Odisha .
  • Matia: Tribal dialect of Odia spoken in Southern Odisha.
  • Bhuyan: Tribal dialect of Odia spoken in Southern Odisha.
  • Reli: Spoken in Southern Odisha and bordering areas of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kupia: Spoken by Valmiki caste people in the Indian state of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, mostly in Hyderabad, Mahabubnagar, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts.

History[edit]

Odia is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Aryan language family. It is thought to be directly descended from a OdraMagadhi Prakrit similar to Ardha Magadhi, which was spoken in eastern India over 1,500 years ago, and is the primary language used in early Jain texts.[25] Odia appears to have had relatively little influence from Persian and Arabic, compared to other major North Indian languages.

The history of the Odia language is divided into eras:

  • Old Odia (3rd century BC): The earliest evidence of Old Odia is found in the 3rd century BC Ashoka edit of Dhauli and 1st century BC Hathigumpha inscription.[26] The old colloquial literature is the Charyapada, poetry written in an Apabhraṃśa ancestral to Odia, Bengali and Assamese.
  • Early Middle Odia (1200–1400): The earliest use of prose can be found in the Madala Panji of the Jagannath Temple at Puri, which dates back to the 12th century. Such works as Shishu Veda, Amara Kosha, Gorakha Samhita, Kalasha Chautisha, and Saptanga are written in this form of Odia.[27][28][29]
  • Middle Odia (1400–1700): Sarala Das writes the Vilanka Ramayana.[30][31] Towards the 16th century, poets emerged around the Vaishnava leader Acyutananda, These five poets are Balaram Das, Jagannatha Dasa, Acyutananda, Ananta Das and Jasobanta Das.
  • Late Middle Odia (1700–1850): Ushabhilasa of Sisu Sankara Das, the Rahasy Manjari of Deba Durlabha Dasa and the Rukmini Bibha of Kartika Dasa were written. A new form of metrical epic-poems (called Chhanda-Kabya) evolved during the beginning of the 17th century when Ramachandra Pattanayaka wrote Haravali.Upendra Bhanja took a leading role in this period- his creations Baidehisha Bilasa, Koti Brahmanda Sundari, Labanyabati were landmarks in Odia Literature. Dinakrushna Dasa’s Rasokallola and Abhimanyu Samanta Singhara’s Bidagdha Chintamani are prominent Kavyas of this time. Four major poets emerged in the end of the era are Baladeba Rath, Bhima Bhoi, Brajanath Badajena and Gopala Krushna Pattanaik.
  • Modern Odia (1850 till present day): The first Odia printing typeset was cast in 1836 by the Christian missionaries which made a great revolution in Odia literature and language.

Charyapada of 8th Century and its affinity with Odia language[edit]

The beginnings of Odia poetry coincide with the development of charya sahitya, the literature started by Vajrayana Buddhist poets such as in the Charyapada. This literature was written in a specific metaphor called twilight language and prominent poets included Luipa, Tilopa and Kanha. Quite importantly, the Ragas that have mentioned for singing the Charyapadas are found abundantly in latter Odia literature.

Poet Jayadeva's literary contribution[edit]

Jayadeva was a Sanskrit poet. He was born in an Utkala Brahmin family of Puri in circa 1200 AD. He is most known for his composition, the epic poem Gita Govinda, which depicts the divine love of the Hindu deity Krishna and his consort, Radha, and is considered an important text in the Bhakti movement of Hinduism. About the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th, the influence of Jayadeva's literary contribution changed the pattern of versification in Odia.[citation needed]

John Beames, a British author and civil servant in British India who stayed for a considerable time in Odisha and worked for the survival of Odia language quotes:

At a period when Odia was already a fixed and settled language, Bengali did not exist. The Bengalis spoke a vast variety of corrupt forms of Eastern Hindi. It is not till quite recent times that we find anything that can with propriety be called a Bengali language.[32]

Dialects have bit of variety from the literary language, and bengal circulated in a vast region so that it have  some varieties, called dialects.[33] Odia circulated in a small region and less no of speaker that's why variety is very less, rather it have a similarity to bengali language. 

We may place the Hindi with its subsidiary forms Gujurati and Punjabi first fixing their rise and establishment as a modern languages distinct from their previous existence as Prakrit till the 12th or 13th century. Odia must have quite completed its transformation by the end of the 14th century. Bengali was no separate independent language but a maze of dialects without a distinct national or provincial type till the 17th or beginning of the 18th century. It was not till the gradual decay of the central Mohammedan power of Delhi enabled the provincial governors to assume an independent position that Bengali severed itself from Hindi and assumed characteristics which now vindicate for its right to be called a separate language.[34]

Phonology[edit]

Main article: Odia phonology

Odia has twenty-eight consonant phonemes, two semivowel phonemes and six vowel phonemes.

All vowels except /o/ also have nasal counterparts, but these are not always contrastive. Final vowels are standard and pronounced, e.g. Odia [pʰulo] contra Bengali[pʰul] "flower".[35]

The velar nasal[ŋ] is given phonemic status in some[which?] analyses. Nasals assimilate for place in nasal–stop clusters. /ɖ ɖʱ/ have the flapallophones[ɽ ɽʱ] in intervocalic position and in final position (but not at morpheme boundaries). Stops are sometimes deaspirated between /s/ and a vowel or an open syllable/s/+vowel and a vowel. Some speakers distinguish between single and geminate consonants.[37]

Morphology[edit]

Main article: Odia morphology

Unlike Hindi, Odia retains most of the cases of Sanskrit, though the nominative and vocative have merged (both without a separate marker), as have the accusative and dative. There are three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter) and two grammatical numbers (singular and plural). There are three true tenses (present, past and future), others being formed with auxiliaries.

Writing system[edit]

Main articles: Odia alphabet and Odia braille

Literature[edit]

Main article: Odia literature

The earliest literature in Odia language can be traced to the Charyapadas composed in the 7th to 9th centuries.[38] Before Sarala Das, the most important works in Odia literature are the Shishu Veda, Saptanga, Amara Kosha, Rudrasudhanidhi, Kesaba Koili, Kalasha Chautisha etc.[27][28][29] In the 14th century, the poet Sarala Dasa's wrote the Sarala Mahabharata, Chandi Purana, and Vilanka Ramayana, in praise of the goddess Durga. Rama-bibaha, written by Arjuna Dasa, was the first long poem written in the Odia language.

The following era is termed the Panchasakha Age and stretches until the year 1700. The period begins with the writings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu whose Vaishnava influence brought in a new evolution in Odia literature. Notable religious works of the Panchasakha Age include those of Balarama Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa, Yasovanta, Ananta and Acyutananda. The authors of this period mainly translated, adapted, or imitated Sanskrit literature. Other prominent works of the period include the Usabhilasa of Sisu Sankara Dasa, the Rahasya-manjari of Deva-durlabha Dasa and the Rukmini-bibha of Kartikka Dasa. A new form of novels in verse evolved during the beginning of the 17th century when Ramachandra Pattanayaka wrote Haravali. Other poets like Madhusudana, Bhima Bhoi, Dhivara, Sadasiva and Sisu Isvara-dasa composed another form called kavyas (long poems) based on themes from Puranas, with an emphasis on plain, simple language.

However, during the Bhanja Age (also known as the Age of Riti Yuga) beginning with turn of the 18th century, verbally tricky Odia became the order of the day. Verbal jugglery, obscenity and eroticism characterise the period between 1700 and 1850, particularly in the works of the era's eponymous poet Upendra Bhanja (1670–1720). Bhanja's work inspired many imitators of which the most notable is Arakshita Das. Family chronicles in prose relating religious festivals and rituals are also characteristic of the period.

The first Odia printing typeset was cast in 1836 by Christian missionaries. Although the handwritten Odia script of the time closely resembled the Bengali and Assamese scripts, the one adopted for the printed typesets was significantly different, leaning more towards the Tamil script and Telugu script. Amos Sutton produced an Oriya Bible (1840), Oriya Dictionary (1841–43) and[39]An Introductory Grammar of Oriya (1844).[40]

Odia has a rich literary heritage dating back to the thirteenth century. Sarala Dasa who lived in the fourteenth century is known as the Vyasa of Odisha. He translated the Mahabharata into Odia. In fact, the language was initially standardised through a process of translating classical Sanskrit texts such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Srimad Bhagabatam. The translation of the Srimad Bhagabatam by Jagannatha Das was particularly influential on the written form of the language. Odia has had a strong tradition of poetry, especially devotional poetry.

Other eminent Odia poets include Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja and Kabisurya Baladev Ratha.

Prose in the language has had a late development.

Three great poets and prose writers, Kabibar Radhanath Ray (1849–1908), Fakir Mohan Senapati (1843–1918) and Madhusudan Rao (1853–1912) made Odia their own. They brought in a modern outlook and spirit into Odia literature. Around the same time the modern drama took birth in the works of Rama Sankara Ray beginning with Kanci-Kaveri (1880).

Among the contemporaries of Fakir Mohan, four novelists deserve special mention: Aparna Panda, Mrutyunjay Rath, Ram Chandra Acharya and Brajabandhu Mishra. Aparna Panda's Kalavati and Brajabandhu Mishra's Basanta Malati were both published in 1902, the year in which Chha Mana Atha Guntha came out in the book form. Brajabandhu Mishra's Basanta Malati, which came out from Bamanda, depicts the conflict between a poor but highly educated young man and a wealthy and highly egoistic young woman whose conjugal life is seriously affected by ego clashes. Through a story of union, separation and reunion, the novelist delineates the psychological state of a young woman in separation from her husband and examines the significance of marriage as a social institution in traditional Indian society. Ram Chandra Acharya wrote about seven novels during 1924-1936. Interestingly all his novels are historical romances based on the historical events in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Odisha. Mrutyunjay Rath's novel, Adbhuta Parinama, published in 1915, centres round a young Hindu who gets converted to Christianity to marry a Christian girl.

One of the great writers in the 19th century was Pandit Krushna Chandra Kar (1907-1995) from Cuttack, who wrote many books for children like Pari Raija, Kuhuka Raija, Panchatantra, Adi Jugara Galpa Mala, etc. He was last felicitated by the Sahitya Academy in the year 1971-72 for his contributions to Odia literature, development of children's fiction, and biographies.

One of the prominent writers of the 19th and 20th centuries was Muralidhar Mallick (1927–2002). His contribution to Historical novels is beyond words. He was last felicitated by the Sahitya Academy in the year 1998 for his contributions to Odia literature. His son Khagendranath Mallick (born 1951) is also a well-known writer. His contribution towards poetry, criticism, essays, story and novels is commendable. He was the former President of Utkal Kala Parishad and also former President of Odisha Geeti Kabi Samaj. Presently he is a member of the Executive Committee of Utkal Sahitya Samaj. Another illustrious writer of the 20th century was Mr. Chintamani Das. A noted academician, he was written more than 40 books including fiction, short stories, biographies and storybooks for children. Born in 1903 in Sriramachandrapur village under Satyabadi block, Chintamani Das is the only writer who has written biographies on all the five 'Pancha Sakhas' of Satyabadi namely Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Acharya Harihara, Nilakantha Das, Krupasindhu Mishra and Pandit Godabarisha. Having served as the Head of the Odia department of Khallikote College, Berhampur, Chintamani Das was felicitated with the Sahitya Akademi Samman in 1970 for his outstanding contribution to Odia literature in general and Satyabadi Yuga literature in particular. Some of his well-known literary creations are 'Bhala Manisha Hua', 'Manishi Nilakantha', 'Kabi Godabarisha', 'Byasakabi Fakiramohan', 'Usha', 'Barabati'.

20th century writers in Odia include Pallikabi Nanda Kishore Bal (1875–1928), Gangadhar Meher (1862–1924), Chintamani Mahanti and Kuntala-Kumari Sabat Utkala-Bharati, besides Niladri Dasa and Gopabandhu Das (1877–1928). The most notable novelists were Umesa Sarakara, Divyasimha Panigrahi, Gopala Praharaja and Kalindi Charan Panigrahi. Sachi Kanta Rauta Ray is the great introducer of the ultra-modern style in modern Odia poetry. Others who took up this form were Godabarisha Mohapatra, Mayadhara Manasimha, Nityananda Mahapatra and Kunjabihari Dasa. Prabhasa Chandra Satpathi is known for his translations of some western classics apart from Udayanatha Shadangi, Sunanda Kara and Surendranatha Dwivedi. Criticism, essays and history also became major lines of writing in the Odia language. Esteemed writers in this field were Professor Girija Shankar Ray, Pandit Vinayaka Misra, Professor Gauri Kumara Brahma, Jagabandhu Simha and Harekrushna Mahatab. Odia literature mirrors the industrious, peaceful and artistic image of the Odia people who have offered and gifted much to the Indian civilization in the field of art and literature. Now Writers Manoj Das's creations motivated and inspired people towards a positive lifestyle .Distinguished prose writers of the modern period include Fakir Mohan Senapati, Madhusudan Das, Godabarisha Mohapatra, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, Surendra Mohanty, Manoj Das, Kishori Charan Das, Gopinath Mohanty, Rabi Patnaik, Chandrasekhar Rath, Binapani Mohanty, Bhikari Rath, Jagadish Mohanty, Sarojini Sahoo, Yashodhara Mishra, Ramchandra Behera, Padmaja Pal. But it is poetry that makes modern Odia literature a force to reckon with. Poets like Kabibar Radhanath Ray, Sachidananda Routray, Guruprasad Mohanty, Soubhagya Misra, Ramakanta Rath, Sitakanta Mohapatra, Rajendra Kishore Panda, Pratibha Satpathy have made significant contributions towards Indian poetry.

Anita Desai's novella, Translator Translated, from her collection The Art of Disappearance, features a translator of a fictive Odian short story writer; the novella contains a discussion of the perils of translating works composed in regional Indian languages into English.

Four writers in Odia - Gopinath Mohanty, Sachidananda Routray, Sitakant Mahapatra and Pratibha Ray - have been awarded the Jnanpith, a prestigious Indian literary award.

Language sample[edit]

The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Odia:

ସବୁ ମନୁଷ୍ଯ ଜନ୍ମକାଳରୁ ସ୍ୱାଧୀନ । ସେମାନଙ୍କର ମର୍ଯ୍ୟାଦା ଓ ଅଧିକାର ସମାନ । ସେମାନଙ୍କର ପ୍ରଜ୍ଞା ଓ ବିବେକ ନିହିତ ଅଛି । ସେମାନେ ପରସ୍ପର ପ୍ରତି ଭାତୃଭାବ ପୋଷଣ କରି କାର୍ଯ୍ୟ କରିବା ଦରକାର ।
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin
  2. ^Bureau, Odishatv. "Odia as official language from tomorrow; linguists doubtful on efficacy of Act | Odisha Television Limited". odishatv.in. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 
  3. ^Hammarström (2015) Ethnologue 16/17/18th editions: a comprehensive review: online appendices
  4. ^Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Macro-Oriya". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  5. ^"PRS | Bill Track | The Constitution (113th Amendment) Bill, 2010". www.prsindia.org. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  6. ^http://www.internetworldstats.com/languages.htm
  7. ^"Constitution amended: Orissa is Odisha, Oriya is Odia". https://www.hindustantimes.com/. 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  8. ^Mahapatra, B.P. (2002). Linguistic Survey of India: Orissa(PDF). Kolkata, India: Language Division, Office of the Registrar General. p. 14. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  9. ^http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-otherstates/Ordeal-of-Oriya-speaking-students-in-West-Bengal-to-end-soon/article16600272.ece
  10. ^http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/raipur/govt-to-provide-study-facility-to-odia-speaking-people-in-state.html
  11. ^http://www.dnaindia.com/locality/news-tags/odia-medium-schools-andhra-pradesh
  12. ^"Oriya gets its due in neighbouring state- Orissa- IBNLive". Ibnlive.in.com. 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  13. ^Naresh Chandra Pattanayak (2011-09-01). "Oriya second language in Jharkhand - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  14. ^"Bengali, Oriya among 12 dialects as 2nd language in Jharkhand". daily.bhaskar.com. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  15. ^http://odisha.gov.in/e-magazine/orissareview/2014/mar/engpdf/5-14.pdf
  16. ^"Odia gets classical language status". The Hindu. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  17. ^"Odia becomes sixth classical language". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  18. ^"Milestone for state as Odia gets classical language status". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  19. ^Pattanayak, Debi Prasanna; Prusty, Subrat Kumar. Classical Odia(PDF). Bhubaneswar: KIS Foundation. p. 54. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  20. ^"Official and Regional Languages of India". 2011-01-25. Archived from the original on 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  21. ^ abInstitute of Social Research and Applied Anthropology (2003). Man and Life. 29. Institute of Social Research and Applied Anthropology. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  22. ^Subhakanta Behera (2002). Construction of an identity discourse: Oriya literature and the Jagannath cult (1866-1936). Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  23. ^
A detailed chart depicting evolution of the Odia script as displayed in a museum at Ratnagiri, Odisha
Eastern Hemisphere in the year 200.

Odisha (formerly Orissa) is one of the 29 states of India, located in the eastern coast. It is surrounded by the states of West Bengal to the north-east, Jharkhand to the north, Chhattisgarh to the west and north-west, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to the south and south-west. Odia (formerly known as Oriya) is the official and most widely spoken language, spoken by 33.2 million according to the 2001 Census.[1] The modern state of Odisha was established on 1 April 1936, as a province in British India, and consisted predominantly of Odia-speaking regions.[2] April 1 is celebrated as Odisha Day.[3]

Visual arts[edit]

Other cultural attractions include the Jagannatha Temple in Puri, known for its annual Rath Yatra or Car Festival, the unique and beautiful appliqué artwork of Pipili, silver filigree ornamental works from Cuttack, the Patta Chitras (palm leaf paintings), famous stone utensils of Nilgiri (Balasore) and various tribal influenced cultures. The Sun Temple at Konark is famous for its architectural splendour while the Sambalpuri textiles equals it in its artistic grandeur.

Sand art[edit]

Sand sculpture is practised on the beaches at Puri. Fine-grained sand is mixed with water and shaped by the fingers. Odishan legend says that

"Poet Balaram Das, the author of Dandi Ramayan, was a great devotee of Lord Jagannath. Once during Ratha Yatra (Car Festival), he tried to climb the chariot of Lord Jagannath to offer his prayer. Since he wasn't allowed by the priests of the chariot to climb it and also insulted by them. With a great frustration and humiliation he came to the beach (Mahodadhi) and carved the statues of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on the Golden sand."

Religion[edit]

In its long history, Odisha has had a continuous tradition of dharmic religions especially Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Ashoka's conquest of Kalinga (India) made Buddhism a principal religion in the state which led to establishment of numerous Stupas and buddhist learning centres. During Kharavela's reign Jainism found prominence. However, by middle of 9th century CE there was a revival of Hinduism as attested by numerous temples such as Mukteshwara, Lingaraja, Jagannath and Konark, which were erected starting from the late 7th century CE. Part of the revival in Hinduism was due to Adi Shankaracharya who proclaimed Puri to be one of the four holiest places or Char Dham for Hinduism. Odisha has therefore a syncretic mixture of the three dharmic religions as attested by the fact that the Jagannath Temple in Puri is considered to be holy by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.

Presently, the majority of people in the state of Odisha are Hindus. As per the census of 2001, Odisha is the third largest Hindu populated state (as a percentage of population) in the country as illustrated in the 2001 census table and in this table. However, while Odisha is predominantly Hindu it is not monolithic. The state also has a Christian and Muslim minority. There is a rich cultural heritage in the state owing to Hindu faith. For example, Odisha is home to several Hindu saints. Sant Bhima Bhoi was a leader of the Mahima sect movement, Sarala Dasa, was the translator of the epic Mahabharata in Oriya, Chaitanya Dasa was a Buddhistic-Vaishnava and writer of the Nirguna Mahatmya, Jayadeva was the author of the Gita Govinda and is recognized by the Sikhs as one of their most important bhagats. Swami Laxmananda Saraswati is a modern-day Hindu saint of Adivasi heritage.

Language[edit]

Main article: Odia language

The official language of the state, spoken by the majority of the people is Odia. Odia belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Europeanlanguage family, and is closely related to Bengali and Assamese. A few tribal languages belonging to the Dravidian and Munda language families are still spoken by the Adivasis of the state.

Literature[edit]

Main article: Odia literature

Further information: Odia language, Indian literature, and List of Oriya Writers

The history of Odia literature has been mapped by historians along the following stages, Old Oriya (900–1300 CE), Early Middle Oriya (1300–1500 CE), Middle Oriya (1500–1700 CE), Late Middle Oriya (1700–1850 CE) and Modern Oriya (from 1850 CE till the present). But this crude categorization could not skillfully draw the real picture on account of development and growth of Odia literature. Here, we split the total periods in different stages such as: Age of Charya Literature, Age of Sarala Das, Age of Panchasakha, Age of Upendra Bhanja, Age of Radhanath, Age of Satyabadi, Age of Marxism or Pragati yuga, Age of Romanticism or Sabuja Yuga, Post Independent Age.

The beginnings of Oriya poetry coincide with the development of Charya Sahitya, the literature thus started by Mahayana Buddhist poets.[4] This literature was written in a specific metaphor named "Sandhya Bhasha" and the poets like Luipa, Kanhupa are from the territory of Orissa.The language of Charya was considered as Prakrita.

The first great poet of Odisha is the famous Sarala Das who wrote the Mahabharata, not an exact translation from the Sanskrit original, but a full-blown independent work. Sarala Mahabharat has 152,000 verses compared to 100,000 in the Sanskrit version. Among many of his poems and epics, he is best remembered for his Sarala Mahabharata. Chandi Purana and the Vilanka Ramayana are also two of his famous creations. Arjuna Das, a contemporary to Sarala Das, wrote Rama-Bibha, a significant long poem in Oriya.

Towards the 16th century, five poets emerged, though there are hundreds year gap in between them. But they are known as Panchashakhas as they believed in the same school of thought, Utkaliya Vaishnavism. The poets are: Balaram Das, Jagannath Das, Achyutananada Das, Ananta Das and Jasobanta Das. The Panchasakhas are very much Vaishnavas by thought. In 1509, Chaitanya, an Oriya devotee of Vishnu whose grandfather Madhukar Mishra had emigrated to Bengal, came to Odisha with his Vaishnava message of love. Before him Jayadeva, one of the foremost composers in Sanskrit, had prepared the ground by heralding the cult of Vaishnavism through his Gita Govinda. Chaitanya’s path of devotion was known as Raganuga Bhakti Marga, but the Panchasakhas differed from Chaitanyas and believed in Gyana Mishra Bhakti Marga, which has similarities with the Buddhist philosophy of Charya Literature stated above. At the end of age of Panchasakha, the prominent poets are Dinakrushna Das, Upendra Bhanja and Abhimanyu Samanta Simhar. Verbal jugglery, obscenity and eroticism as the characteristics of Shringara Kavyas, became the trend of this period to which Upendra Bhanja took a leading role. His creations were Baidehisha Bilasa, Koti Brahmanda Sundari, Lavanyabati were proved landmark in Odia literature. Upendra Bhanja was conferred with the title Kabi Samrat of Odia literature for the aesthetic poetic sense and verbal jugglery proficiency. Dinakrushna Das’s Rasokallola and Abhimanyu Samanta Simhara’s Bidagdha Chintamani are prominent kavyas of this time.

The first Oriya printing typeset was cast in 1836 by the Christian missionaries which heralded a great revolution in Odia literature, instead of palm leaf inscription. The books were being printed and the periodicals and journals were published. The first Oriya Magazine of Bodha Dayini was published from Balasore in 1861. The main object of this magazine was to promote Odia literature and to draw attention to the lapses in government policy. The first Oriya paper, The Utkal Deepika made its appearance in 1866 under the editorship of late Gouri Sankar Ray with the help of late Bichitrananda. The publication of these papers during the last part of the 19th century encouraged the modern literature and acted as a media to provide a wide readers range for the writers, The educated intellectuals came in contact with the English Literature and got influenced. Radhanath Ray (1849–1908) is the prime figure, who tried to write his poems with the influence of Western Literature. He wrote Chandrabhaga, Nandikeshwari, Usha, Mahajatra, Darbar and Chilika were the long poems or Kavyas. Fakir Mohan Senapati (1843–1918), the prime figure of modern Oriya Fiction Prose is the product of that generation. He was considered the Vyasakabi or founder poet of Odia language. Fakir Mohan Senapati is well known for his novel Chha Maana Atha Guntha. It is the first Indian novel to deal with the exploitations of landless peasants by the Feudal Lords. It was written much before the October revolution of Russia or much before the emerging of marxist ideas in India.

With rise of freedom movement, a literary thought emerged with the influence of Gandhiji, and idealistic trend of Nationalism formed as a new trend in Odia literature. Much respected personality of Odishan culture and history, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Dash (1877–1928) had founded a school at a village Satyabadi near Sakshigopal of Odisha and an idealistic literary movement influenced the writers of this age. Godabarisha Mohapatra, Kuntala-Kumari Sabat are the other renowned names of this age.

With the emergence of soviet Russia in 1935, Communist party was formed in Odisha and a periodicals named Adhunika was published by the party. Bhagawati Charan Panigrahi and Sachidananda Routray were the founder member and writer/poets of the party. Bhagawati turned to a fiction writer and though Sachidananda Routray (who is more known as "Sachi Routra" or Sachi Babu) has written some of the short stories but was actually remembered for his poems. Influenced by the romantic thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore, during the thirties when the progressive marxian movements were in full flow in Odia literature, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, the brother of Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi, the founder of Marxian Trend in Odisha, formed a group during 1920 called Sabuja Samiti. Mayadhar Mansingh was a renowned poet of that time though he was considered as a romantic poet, but he kept the distance away from the influence of Rabindranath Tagore successfully. As the successor of Sachi babu, two poets Guruprasad Mohanty (popularly known as Guru Prasad) (1924–2004) and Bhanuji Rao came with T. S. Eliot and published their co-authored poetry book Nutan Kabita. Later, Ramakanta Rath modified the ideas. Sitakanta Mohapatra, Soubhagya Kumar Mishra, Rajendra Kishore Panda, Brajanath Rath, Jayanta Mahapatra, Kamalakant Lenka, J. P. Das, Brahmotri Mohanty, Mamata Dash, Amaresh Patnaik, Hrushikesh Mallick, Sunil Kumar Prusty, Sucheta Mishra, Aparna Mohanty, Pritidhara Samal, Basudev Sunani, Gajanan Mishra, Bharat Majhi are some poets of this contemporary age. In the Post-Independence era Oriya fiction assumed a new direction. The trend which Fakir Mohan had started actually developed more after 1950s. Gopinath Mohanty (1914–1991), Surendra Mohanty and Manoj Das (b. 1934) are considered as three jewels of this time. The other significant fiction writers are Chandrasekhar Rath, Shantanu Acharya, Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo, Rabi Patnaik, Jagadish Mohanty, Kanheilal Das, Satya Mishra, Ramchandra Behera, Padmaja Pal, Yashodhara Mishra and Sarojini Sahoo are few writers whose writings have created a new age in the field of fiction. After 1970, the women wing of Oriya writers emerged as a prime voice of feminism. Jayanti Ratha, Susmita Bagchi, Paramita Satpathy, Hiranmayee Mishra, Chirashree Indrasingh, Supriya Panda, Gayatri Saraf, Mamata Chowdhry are few fiction writer in this period. But, among all the women writers Sarojini Sahoo played a significant role for her feministic and sexuality approach in fiction. For feminism she is considered as the Simone de Beauvoirof India, though theoretically she denies the Hegelian theory of "Others" developed by Simone in her The Second Sex. Unlike to Simone, Sarojini claims the women are "Others" from masculine perspective but as a human being, she demands for similar right as Plato recommended.

In the field of drama, the traditional Oriya theatre is the folk opera, or Jatra, which flourishes in the rural areas of Odisha. Modern theatre is no longer commercially viable. But in the 1960, experimental theatre made a mark through the works of Manoranjan Das, who pioneered the new theatre movement with his brand of experimentalism. Bijay Mishra, Biswajit Das, Kartik Rath, Ramesh Chandra Panigrahi, Ratnakar Chaini, Ranjit Patnaik continued the tradition.

Performing arts[edit]

Music[edit]

Main articles: Odissi music and Music of Odisha

Sixteenth century witnessed the compilation of literature on music. The four important treatises written during that time are Sangitamava Chandrika, Natya Manorama, Sangita Kalalata and Gita Prakasha. Odissi music is a combination of four distinctive kinds of music, namely, Chitrapada, Dhruvapada, Panchal and Chitrakala. When music uses artwork, it is known as Chitikala. A unique feature of Oriya music is the Padi, which consists of singing of words in fast beat.

Being a part of the rich culture of Odisha, its music is also as much charming and colorful. Odissi music is more two thousand five hundred years old and comprises a number of categories. Of these, the five broad ones are Tribal Music, Folk music, Light Music, Light-Classical Music and Classical Music. Anyone who is trying to understand the culture of Odisha must take into account its music, which essentially forms a part of its legacy.

In the ancient times, there were saint-poets who wrote the lyrics of poems and songs that were sung to rouse the religious feelings of people. It was by the eleventh century that the music of Odisha, in the form of Triswari, Chatuhswari, and Panchaswari, underwent transformation and was converted into the classical style.

Folk music like Yogi Gita, Kendara Gita, Dhuduki Badya, Prahallad Natak, Palla, Sankirtan, Mogal Tamasa, Gitinatya, Kandhei Nacha, Kela Nacha, Ghoda Nacha, Danda Nacha and Daskathia are popular in Odisha.

Almost every tribal group has their own distinct song and dance style.

Dance[edit]

Main article: Odissi

Odissi dance and music are classical forms. Odissi has a tradition of 2,000 years, and finds mention in the Natyashastra of Bharatamuni, possibly written circa 200 BCE. However, the dance form nearly became extinct during the British period, only to be revived after India's independence by a few proponents, such as Guru Deba Prasad Das, Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Raghunath Dutta and Kelucharan Mohapatra. Odissi classical dance is about the divine love of Krishna and his consort Radha, mostly drawn from compositions by the notable Oriya poet Jayadeva, who lived in the 12th century CE.

Chhau dance (or Chau dance) is a form of tribal martial dance attributed to origins in Mayurbhanj princely state of Odisha and seen in the Indian states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. There are three subtypes of the dance, based on the original places where the subtypes were developed. Seraikella Chau was developed in Seraikella, the administrative head of the Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand, Purulia Chau in Purulia district of West Bengal and Mayurbhanj Chau in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.

Mahari Dance is one of the important dance forms of Odisha. Mahari dance, originated in the temples of Odisha. History of Odisha provides evidence of the Devadasi cult in Odisha. Devadasis were dancing girls who were dedicated to the temples of Odisha. The Devadasis in Odisha were known as Maharis and the dance performed by them came to be known as Mahari Dance.

It was during the reign of Chodagangadeva, Maharis were employed in the temples of Puri. After Chodagangadeva's death, Ananabhimadeva built Natyamandapa in the Jagannath temple for the dance performances inside the temple. Moreover, in those days, the Mahari dancers belonged to different categories namely, the Nachunis (dancers), the Bahara Gauni, the Bhitara Gauni and the Gaudasanis.

The Mahari Dancers of Odisha are supposed to follow certain restrictions, such as:

  • They cannot enjoy.
  • They should dance on the ceremonies connected to Lord Jagannath.
  • They should adhere to the specifications made by the Shastras.
  • They must always wear clean clothes.
  • The dancer cannot be physically handicapped.
  • At the time of the performances, the dancers are not supposed to look at the audience.
  • The Maharis are married to the Lord at the age of nine.
  • Before their performances, the Mahari dancers pay their obeisance to the Lord.

In Odisha, one can also come across another type of Mahari dancers, who are known as Samarpada Niyoga. The duty of the Samarpada Niyoga is to dance during the ceremonial procession of the deities. These dancers perform during the Ratha Yatra, Jhulana Yatra, Dola Yatra, etc.

The Western Odisha has also great variety of dance forms unique to Odisha culture. The children's verses are known as "Chhiollai", "Humobauli" and "Dauligit"; the adolescent poems are "Sajani", "Chhata", "Daika", "Bhekani"; the youth compositions are "Rasarkeli", "Jaiphul", "Maila Jada", "Bayamana", "Gunchikuta" and "Dalkhai"; the work-man's poetry comprises "Karma" and "Jhumer" pertaining to Lord Vishwakarma and the "Karamashani" Goddess. The professional entertainers perform Dand, Danggada, Mudgada, Ghumra, Sadhana, Sabar–Sabarein, Disdigo, Nachina–Bajnia, Samparda and Sanchar. They are performed during all occasions with varieties of rhythm and rhyme.

Pala is a unique form of balladry in Odisha, which artistically combines elements of theatre, classical Odissi music, highly refined Oriya and Sanskrit poetry, wit, and humour. The literal meaning of Pala is turn. It is more sophisticated than the other Oriya ballad tradition, Daskathia. Pala can be presented in three different ways. First one is known as Baithaki Pala or `seated`, in which the performers sit on the ground throughout. The other one is Thia Pala or `standing`, which is considerably more popular and aesthetically more satisfying. The third one is called the Badi Pala, which is a kind of Thia Pala, in which two groups vie for excellence. This is the most entertaining, as there is an element of competition.

Gotipua dance is another form of dance in Odisha. In Oriya colloquial language Gotipua means single boy. The dance performance done by a single boy is known as Gotipua dance. When decadence and declination came in to Devadasi or Mahari tradition due to various reasons this Gotipua dance tradition evolved as sequel as these performance were practiced to please God. It is totally unknown that when exactly this danced form came in to practice. Still some historians say that this dance tradition appears to have originated during the region of Prataprudradev (1497 CE to 1540 CE) and gained popularity in the subsequent Muslim rule. Ray Remananda the famous Vaishnavite Minister of King Pratapruda and ardent follower of Sri Chaitanya is the originator of this boy dancing tradition, as the Vasishnavas were not approving of the females in to dance practices so it possible that the dance tradition must have come after Sri Chaitanya came to Odisha. The Gotipua Dance Tradition is now seen in the village Raghurajpur situated 10 km away from Puri town, situated on the banks of river Bhargabi. It is otherwise known as the Crafts Village as various Odishan handicrafts’ craftsmen reside in this village contributing their expertise in Pattachitra painting and other handicrafts.

Oriya cinema[edit]

Main article: Odia Film Industry

The Oriya film production in the initial years was very slow. After first Oriya film Sita Bibaha, only two films were produced till 1951. A joint consortium of landlords and businessmen who collected fund after 1948 produced those two movies. The 1951 production Roles to Eight was the first Oriya film having an English name. It was released after 15 years of the first Oriya film Sita Bibaha. It was the fourth Oriya film produced by Ratikanta Padhi.The eleventh Oriya film Sri Lokenath was the first Oriya film, which got National Award in 1960 directed by Prafulla Sengupta.[5]

The name of Prashanta Nanda would always come while dealing with Oriya Film Industry. He was present in Oriya films since 1939, but he became super active only after 1976. Nanda served Oriya Film Industry as an actor, director, screenplay writer, and lyricist and even as a playback singer. Such a versatile genius is quite rare in Indian cinema history. Uttam Mohanty, whose debut film Abhiman won accolades, is now the ruling hero of the Oriya Film Industry. His wife Aparajita Mohanty is a very successful leading lady of Oriya films.

Odia cuisine[edit]

Main article: Odia cuisine

Odisha has culinary tradition spanning centuries if not millennia. The kitchen of the famous Jagannath temple in Puri is reputed to be the largest in the world, with a thousand chefs, working around 752 wood-burning clay hearths called chulas, to feed over 10,000 people each day.

Rasagolla, one of the most popular desserts in India, is an estrangment between the Odisha and west Bengal. It had been enjoyed in Odisha for centuries and neighboring Bengal. The well-known rice pudding, kheeri (kheer) that is relished all over India, also originated in Puri two thousand years ago.

In fact, some well-known recipes, usually credited to Bengal, are of Odishan origin. This is because during the Bengal renaissance, Brahmin cooks from Odisha, especially from Puri, were routinely employed in richer Bengali households. They were famed for their culinary skills and commonly referred to as Ude Thakurs (Oriya Brahmin-cooks). As a result, many Odia delicacies got incorporated into the Bengali kitchen.

Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yoghurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no Odia repast is considered complete without some dessert at the end. A typical meal in Odisha consists of a main course and dessert. Typically breads are served as the main course for breakfast, whereas rice is eaten with lentils (dals) during lunch and dinner. The main course also includes one or more curries, vegetables and pickles. Given the fondness for sweet foods, the dessert course may include generous portions of more than a single item. Oriya desserts are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk, chhenna (a form of ricotta cheese), coconut, rice, and wheat flour being the most common.

Clothing[edit]

Western-style dress has gained greater acceptance in cities and towns among men, although the people prefer to wear traditional dresses like Dhoti, Kurtha and Gamucha during festivals or other religious occasions. Women normally prefer to wear the Saris (Sambalpuri Sari, Bomkai Sari, Kataki Sari) or the Shalwar kameez; western attire is becoming popular among younger women in cities and towns.

The Saree of Odisha is much in demand throughout the entire world. The different colors and varieties of sarees in Odisha make them very popular among the women of the state. The handloom sarees available in Odisha can be of four major types; these are Ikat, Bandha, Bomkai and Pasapalli. Odisha sarees are also available in other colors like cream, maroon, brown and rust. The tie-and-dye technique used by the weavers of Odisha to create motifs on these sarees is unique to this region. This technique also gives the sarees of Odisha an identity of their own.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

The traditional costume for Pala
Salepur Rasagola.Rasagola, famous throughout India originated from Odisha
Ethnic female and male cloth draping style in Odisha.
Traditional sari draping style of Cuttack.

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