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Four-day Festival of Orissa ‘Raja Parba’ is all about celebrating Womanhood

Girls are forbidden from all kinds of manual work during the first three days of the festival

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An Indian Village woman. Image source: festivalsherpa.com
  • Raja is generally associated with the farmers and is celebrated during the onset of monsoons
  • Girls are forbidden from all kinds of manual work during these three days of the festival
  • The young men of the village keep themselves busy in various types of country games, the most favourite being ‘Kabadi’

When the world is fighting for gender related issues, quite a few people are aware that one state in India are celebrating the Festival of Womanhood. The indigenous people of Orissa celebrates a four-day festival ‘Raja Parba’ to celebrate womanhood. Popularly known as Mithuna Sankranti, this festival also inaugurates and welcomes the agricultural year. The four-day festival falls on the first day of the month of Asadha (June-July) from which the rainy season starts, thus moistening the summer parched soil and making it ready for productivity.

As per mythology, It is believed that the mother goddess Earth (Bhumidevi) or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu undergoes menstruation during the first three days. The first day is called Pahili Raja, second day is Mithuna Sankranti, third day is Bhu daaha or Basi Raja. The term Raja has come from Rajaswala (meaning a menstruating woman.) Like Hindu women who are asked to abstain from work, Mother Earth is given rest by terminating all the agricultural activities like ploughing, plucking flowers , scratching earth and any other thing that would hurt Mother Earth.

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Image Source: dishaDiary.tv

Girls are forbidden from all kinds of manual work during these three days of the festival. They don’t carry water, cut vegetables, and sweep the houses. Neither do they sew clothes, grind grains, comb hair or walk in bare foot The very first day, they rise before dawn, do their hair, anoint their bodies with turmeric paste and oil and then take the purificatory bath in a river or tank. During all the first three days ,women and unmarried girls look their best. They are seen in the best of dresses and decorations, eating cakes and rich food at the houses of friends and relatives and enjoy tree swings and play indoor games. This creates a happy and joyful atmosphere throughout the town .

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The fourth day is called Vasumati snan, where the ladies bath the grinding stone as a symbol of ‘Bhumi’ with turmeric paste and adore with flower and sindoor.

The young men of the village keep themselves busy in various types of country games, the most favourite being ‘Kabadi’. Competitions are also held between different groups of villages. All nights ‘Yatra’ performances or ‘Gotipua’ dances are arranged.Plays and other kinds of entertainment also take place.

This year in 2016, Raja Parba will be celebrated from June 14-17. Almost every village in Orissa transforms into a land filled with love ,celebrating the beauty of life during the four- day festival.

-by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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  • Paras Vashisth

    It sounds very nice that their is a festival in Indiawhere womens are treated as they don’t do work for some days.
    That kind of festivals should be spread out in bigger manner

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New Resolute and More Muscular India Put on Its Fresh Aggressive Game Face

Pakistan's isolation is complete and Imran Khan's last minute attempt to speak to Donald Trump also appears to have failed

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India, Muscular, Game
By restating its position on how Pakistan remains a rogue state indulging in unabashed state sponsored terror through proxies. Pixabay

On Friday morning, India secured a major diplomatic victory at the UN by reiterating its unequivocal position on Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan being the cradle of terror. By restating its position on how Pakistan remains a rogue state indulging in unabashed state sponsored terror through proxies, India once again notched up major brownie points with the world community at large. Pakistan’s isolation is complete and Imran Khan’s last minute attempt to speak to Donald Trump also appears to have failed.The most important part is that the UN Security Council acknowledged India’s measures to bring normalcy and development to Kashmir and wants all countries to follow suit. The piece de resistance came from Indias Permanent Representative to UN Syed Akbaruddin, who said: “We are gratified that the Security Council in its closed consultations appreciated these efforts, acknowledged them and indicated that this is the direction in which they would like the international community to move.”

India’s diplomatic encirclement of Pakistan has been a success with the primacy of its position over Jammu and Kashmir being undisputed and unchallenged. Barring China, the world has accepted India’s position including the Arab world, formerly sponsors and supporters of Pakistan. But it is clear that even they are fed up.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking to IANS earlier this week said: “I feel that there are two aspects to this. First, a certain section of people believed that my government — and I personally — would fail on the foreign policy front not just in the Gulf region, but also in the wider context. The reality is that my government’s successful track record on foreign policy across the world is there for everyone to see. In fact, after assuming office in 2014, the very first Foreign Minister my government received on an official visit was that of the Sultanate of Oman. So, what others thought of me, and what the reality turned out to be, is for them to introspect.”

Prime Minister Modi doesn’t get adequate credit for this outreach but as he explained: “I think our policy has succeeded to a large extent because of this outreach, this constant engagement. We have not allowed any miscommunication, any doubts to play spoilsport. We have been very open with all the countries, and they have also reciprocated with warmth and friendship. I firmly believe that India and the Gulf countries have only begun to explore the true potential of a partnership which will go far beyond mutual benefits and can anchor peace, progress and prosperity not only in our common and extended neighbourhood but also in the larger world.”

India, Muscular, Game
On Friday morning, India secured a major diplomatic victory at the UN by reiterating its unequivocal position on Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan being the cradle of terror. Pixabay

Even as Pakistan has upscaled ‘Ceasefire Violations’ both in terms of weapon and area in dimension over the last a few days, India has met fire with fire keeping a red alert vigil on the LoC. With a successful lockdown in progress in the Kashmir Valley and use of the Westphalian sovereignty template, India has managed to convince the world that its policy imperatives on the newly designed Union Territory are noble. The fact that not a single incident of violence has resulted is an equally bigger win.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s single minded obsession appears to show Kashmir as a potential flashpoint to seek world attention. This has been tamped down with India’s delicate handling of the situation. While the closed door meeting has turned into an acceptance of the Indian viewpoint, Pakistan is expected to continue pushing the envelope.

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With the UN General Assembly scheduled to commence shortly, Pakistan’s ploy of playing the victim card may not exactly get traction with the world given the toxic state’s track record as the global centrifugal force of jihadis. A new tactic being used this time by Pakistan is to escalate ceasefire violations so that the world may take due notice that Kashmir and the border is a dangerous place. With Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh calling Pakistan’s bluff by rescinding the NFN – no first nuke – option on Friday, a new resolute and more muscular India put on its fresh aggressive game face. (IANS)