Celebrating harmony through arts


To showcase the harmony and integration of the Odias in Singapore, the Odia Society of Singapore (OSS) organised an intercultural musical event and art exhibition at the Victoria Theatre on Oct 30.

The event, supported by the Guru Deba Prasad (GDP) Nrutya Dhara and the High Commission of India, also served to depict the rich social and cultural history of Odisha, the eastern Indian state from where the Odias hail.

The GDP Nrutya Dhara was established in 2014 in Singapore to spread the grace of the major Indian classical dance form Odissi.

More than 60 dancers, both local and from Odisha, performed Odissi and fusion dances, along with local Malay and Chinese dance troupes, before an audience that included the guest of honour, India's High Commissioner to Singapore Periasamy Kumaran.

Members of the famous Odisha Dance Academy from Bubaneswar also performed in Singapore for the first time.

"The Odissi dances were choreographed by Gurus Aruna Mohanty and Sasmita Pal, and involved dancers as young as five year old," said OSS president Alok Panda.

"Guru Mohanty also delivered her iconic dance number Pratinayak.

"The performances were mesmerising and met our overall objective of 'celebrating cultures and building harmony'."

The art displayed at the exhibition was Pattachitra, a type of Odissi painting done by hand and using natural colours.

The works, created on cotton cloth or Tussar silk, is a practice passed down since ancient times by families in Raghurajpur village, near the temple town of Puri, in Odisha.

"They have been creating these beautiful artworks generation after generation," said Mr Panda.

"These paintings depict stories of gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology.

"The painters use simple tools like pencil, eraser, ruler, divider, protractor and brushes."

OSS, founded in 1998 by a small group of Odia expatriates, is a non-political, non-profit and voluntary organisation that focuses on promoting socio-cultural activities and Odisha culture and heritage.

Apart from art and culture, it also has chapters which organise regular events in sports, wellness, charity and women's welfare.


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