Bhubaneswar (OdishaLIVE Bureau): Odia families from around the world including US, Canada, India and Bahamas came together for OSA’s Annual Convention on board a cruise ship and at Bahamas Islands from June 30th to July 3rd, 2017 to celebrate Odia Culture and Heritage. The Convention was attended by three generations of Odias living in America and Odias from Odisha joined in this journey as a show of solidarity and cultural integration.

OSA Annual Convention is an annual get-together of Odias to celebrate Odia culture and heritage. On July 3rd, the sojourn ended with the return of the cruise ship to Miami, FL. There were extended goodbyes as families said adieu to the 48th OSA Convention and carried with them memories to last a lifetime.

Inaugural ceremony started with national anthems of participating nations followed by lamp lighting where Dr. Sita Kantha Dash joined as Chief guest and addressed the audience regarding the importance of reaching outside of Odia community and, to promote and spread Odia culture among larger Indian community and outside of the Indian community. OSA President Mr. Sushant Satpathy presided over the meetings and OSA Treasurer Mr. Siddharth Behera gave the vote of thanks.

On the occasion OSA recognized a few pioneering members with Annual OSA Awards; Dr Sukant Mohapatra, Dr. Basant Mohapatra, Ms. Jessika Baral and Mr. Anshuman Mishra were recognized with OSA’s Distinguished Odia Award, Arun Das Memorial Kalashree Award, Subrina Biswal Award for Academic Excellence and Youth Volunteer Award, respectively. OSA’s annual magazine Urmi was released during the inauguration ceremony in the presence of its editors Dr. Bigyani Das, Mr. Prasanta Bhuyan and Dr. Joy Gopal Mohanty.

The inaugural cultural program started with Odissi dance by Kalashree Awardee Mrs. Ipsita Satpathy followed by performances of Michigan and Washington DC chapter members set to the convention theme of ‘Ajeya Jatra’. Both adult and youth showcased their cultural talent in Odissi, folk dance, drama, Champu and Chhanda and contemporary music.

The topic for Women’s forum was “Complementary role of spouse in NRO Women’s life” and both men and women present participated in the discussion and shared their own life experience including those who immigrated in the 1970s to many who are new comers.

During General Body Meeting it was announced that 49th OSA Convention in 2018 will be in Detroit, Michigan and Odia families invited everyone to 2018 OSA Convention on behalf of its Convener Dr. Shishir Senapati.

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