It’s Curtains On Odisha’s Adivasi Mela 2023; City Denizens Share Their Experience

Bhubaneswar: The curtains will come down on the Adivasi Mela 2023 Wednesday in Odisha capital. The Mela is a celebration of the rich culture and heritage of indigenous communities that have lived in various parts of the state for centuries.

Since its opening on February 20, lakhs of people have flocked to the ten-day fair.

“We love the concept of Adivasi Mela and how it brings us (denizens) closer to the life of different tribes,” Binapaani Das, a regular visitor of the fair told Odishabytes.

“We come here every year to buy the turmeric from Kandhmal and other such authentic food items,” she added.

More than a hundred goods are being sold at the Mela. One of the most eye-catching items is the exclusive ‘Papier-mache handicrafts’  from Keonjhar district. This is a sustainable approach as the discarded paper is utilised and the gum is made by grinding tamarind seeds.

“The government has trained us to make crafts such as pen stands, jewellery boxes, showpieces and other decorative items out of paper,” one of the members, Pushpa Samal told Odishabytes.

“Even though they are uneducated, our project has given employment to the tribal women in our neighbourhood and is assisting them in becoming independent,” she added.

Other than this, a sizeable number of people purchased broomsticks. A lot of people also purchased strawberries.

Among the other stalls are those selling authentic turmeric, chilli and other such spices, organic honey, tribal jewellery, and handwoven clothing. Papads and badis (Odia fryums) are also being sold.

The tribal dance performances in the evening were a big draw.

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