Bhubaneswar, Nov 27 (LocalWire): Odisha, which is rich in heritage, culture, tradition and customs, also lays claim to unconventional practices being followed by some sections of its people.
Though the instances are stray in nature, we bring you a list of some of the weird traditions in vogue in specific pockets of the state.
1. In Odisha’s Kandhamal district, one can meet Napoleon, Isaac Einstein, Diego Maradona and Michael Jackson! In several parts of the predominantly hill-locked district, locals have developed a fondness towards naming their children after global geniuses.
Although the practice is in vogue for years together nobody can point out for sure the genesis of this unconventional naming of their progenies. One may soon find US President Trump or soccer star Messi enrolled in the village school registrars soon!
2. At a time when the entry of women in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple has been a contentious issue, women have donned the mantle of priestesshood by worshipping Panchubarahi, Janjali, Kamili, Bimali and Batakuanri in Kendrapara district.
As per the age-old tradition, the eldest daughter-in-law of the family performs the rituals in hereditary succession.
The temple located at sea-erosion-hit Satabhaya village has in the meanwhile relocated to Bagapatia resettlement colony. But the customary women priestess-hood practice goes on.
3. In another typical custom, locals of seaside hamlets in Kendrapara district continue to cling on to an unconventional practice of immersing the idols of Goddess Manasha while garlanding the deities with wads of currency notes to ward off possible biting by venomous snakes.
The ritual is an annual affair in villages of Ramnagar, Batighar, Jamboo, Kharinasi, Sanatubi, Badatubi, Nipania and Luimathia.
4.In a departure from practice, residents of a remote village Mushapapuli in Angul district continue to follow the self-imposed practice of not cooking after sunset. The kitchens remain prohibited corridors in twilight.
The village suffered extensive damage due to a massive fire a decade back which left them shattered economically. The source of fire was an earthen chullah (stove) where a homemaker was cooking dinner.
The inferno had spread ravaging almost the entire village. Since then, villagers have stopped cooking at night.
The village which had fire-prone kutcha and thatched houses have refurbished to pucca and asbestos-roofed houses. But regulatory practice still continues.
5. Sialia village under river-locked Rajkanika block of Kendrapara district attracts attention of outsiders for sticking to superstition and dogmatic belief that defies logic and reason in this hi-tech age.
Villagers shy away from doors and windows in their houses lest it invite the curse of the village deity. Interestingly, cases of theft or burglary are rarely reported from the village.