11-Year-Old Scuba Diver Sends Nuakhai Wishes From 40-Ft Below Sea!

Dubai: Eleven-year-old Tisya Panigrahi and her father Priyadarshee Panigrahi, who hail from Odisha’s Sambalpur district, have done something innovative to mark Nuakhai festivities this year.

The father-daughter duo has transmitted Nuakhai greetings to all Odias from a depth of 40-ft under Arabian Sea in the Gulf Of Oman, on the east coast of United Arab Emirates (UAE), after diving at `Dibba Rock’in Fujairah.

On the eve of Nuakhai, Tisya and her father Priyadarshee Friday dived into the sea at the ‘Dibba Rock’ and wished people on the occasion of Odisha’s premier harvest festival Nuakhai.

Nuakhai Juhar to all of you. I enjoy diving a lot. It is fun to do something special on Nuakhai from a depth of 40-ft under sea. I miss Nuakhai a lot,” said Tisya.

“This is one of our humble attempts to popularize Nuakhai. We delivered the wishes in a unique way,” said Tishya’s father Priyadarshee.

Both the divers reached Dibba Rock by boat and jumped into the sea in full diving gear. After descending to a depth of 40-ft amidst coral reefs and beautiful marine life, they took out celebratory placards and sent out their wishes. One of the placards read ‘Nuakhai Juhar’ while the other read ‘Happy Nuakhai’. Such an underwater event on the occasion of Nuakhai has never happened in the past and is unique as it was done by a 11-year-old girl.

Diving Instructor Hani El Hajjar who hails from Lebanon helped them take photographs and videos using a special underwater camera.

Sambalpur-born Tisya became Odisha’s youngest scuba diver on August 22, 2020 when she obtained her PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Junior Open Water Scuba Diver License in UAE at the age of 10. One can get the license only after turning 10. Tisya did her training at Al Boom Diving, UAE’s largest diving school.

Tisya was inspired by the diving exploits of her father Priyadarshee Panigrahi who has been diving since 2012 after getting his PADI Open Water Scuba Diver License from Vietnam. Priyadarshee is a prominent NRI and is actively involved in community affairs and promotion of India’s culture and traditions at the International level. He is based in Dubai and works as a general manager with a large fast moving consumer goods company.

“Diving is something that I enjoy a lot. It was fun to hold the placards and pose for pictures and videos. Nuakhai has many memories for me. I particularly like the festival because we get to dress in traditional clothes, dance to peppy Sambalpuri songs and get great traditional foods”, says Tisya.

Tisya is the granddaughter of former minister and MP from Odisha Late Sriballav Panigrahi and educationist Late Sunanda Panigrahi. Tisya also happens to be the maternal granddaughter of former MLA from Sambalpur Dr. Raseswari Panigrahi.


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