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People and Life of Odisha

Ancient Odisha was a confluence of racial streams that kept on invading the state leaving their own imprints thus affecting the life style a lot. History tells us that the Aryans entered Odisha from the north-east, subjugated the primitive people living there and imposed on them their language and culture. The story could not be so simple, for the people then living in the land were not perhaps all of the primitive type, nor were they subjugated culturally. What might have happened probably was a racial and cultural amalgamation.

Geographically Odisha stands as a coastal corridor between the northern and southern India. It is natural therefore that an assimilation of the races and cultures of the Aryans and the Dravidians; must have taken place here in the days of gore. At the same time successive racial and cultural tides might have surged up from the different sides, rolled in and broken over this bound culminating in the indo-cultural synthesis.

In spite of being rural, people of Odisha, have still retained India's earliest civilization in its pristine form by keeping their traditional values still alive. Not only in their secluded hamlets, but also in the countless thousands of villages in the country side one can catch a glimpse of the dwindling horizon of humanity, through the innocent and benign outlook of tile villagers. A sensitive person who happens to be a prisoner of the modern society with its stress and strain will not, while in a typical Oriya village, fail to mark the relationship of its common people with God, nature and their fellow men.

Social Life of Odisha:
People in Odisha, whether rural or urban, live in families. Those who have to stay away from family at their places of work in towns or industrial areas usually come to spend their holidays in their village homes. The joint family system is largely in vogue in villages, but is breaking up gradually. People living in their places of work often live with nuclear families, but do not like to break their ties with the joint family if they happen to be members of the same.

Marriage is usually monogamous among all the sects When a youngman or a women is of marriageable age, it is usually the duty of the parents to arrange for the marriage. The Muslims and the Christians follow their own traditional customs. Except among the tribals the dowry system is prevent in all communities, it is on tile increase in spite of legislation. Inter-caste marriages are taking place in recent times, but are limited in number. 

Certain moral code and ethics are commonly accepted in the Odishan society in respect of social conduct. Drinking is considered a vice and as such shameful in the households of villages. For the tribal people, however it is not a vice. They brew varieties of starchy beer out of rice or millet or mahua flowers, which they drink often and especially during the festivals.

Village Life of Odisha:
Odisha, a state of around 50,000 villages. Villages offer the beautiful natural landscapes and the proximity to the nature which come as blessing to those who have long been in the city pent. The villagers are very simple, clean in their heart and lovable personalities. Though they lead a poor life style, but their hospitality, attention towards the guests are praiseworthy. One can feel the same if visits made to the villages. If someone shares love and happiness, I am sure he will receive much more. 80% of population of Odisha lives in Villages. This Village life is very special for it's color, culture, tradition, fair & festivals and art & crafts of Odisha.

Lifestyle in a village in one part of Odisha is very different from other part of province. People following different religious beliefs live together in the villages of Odisha. The principal language spoken in the villages of Odisha is Odia. The villages of Odisha have an impressive educational scenario. Many government primary schools have been established in the villages of Odisha to provide primary education. There are also a few private organisations that work for providing primary education to the villagers. After completing the primary and secondary education, the students can pursue higher education in the colleges and universities located in the urban areas. Though, the rural literacy rate in Odisha is good, the governmental authorities are trying hard to further improve the educational status of the villages of Odisha. It's said that in every 200kms, life style changes in villages of Odisha. So Odisha village tours are organized to visit the life of villages in different part of odisha and India.

The principal source of occupation in the villages of Odisha is agriculture. Like most villages in other parts of India, a majority of the rural population in Odisha is dependent on agriculture to earn their livelihoods. The villages of Odisha are one of the largest producers of rice in India and they contribute to almost one tenth of the total rice production of the country. Apart from rice, the other major crops cultivated in the villages of Odisha include jute, oil seeds, pulses, coconut, sugarcane, tea, rubber, cotton, gram, mustard, maize, sesame, ragi, potato, soybean, etc. Many people in the villages of Odisha are also engaged in non-agricultural activities. They are involved in various occupations including forest based husbandry and the industries like minerals, cement, paper, sugar, fertilizer, iron and steel, handloom, etc. Another major source of occupation in the villages of Odisha is arts and crafts. The villagers in Odisha are famous all over the country for the unique and exceptional handicrafts like Patta Chitra, Sand Art, Metal Work, Silver Filigree, Stone Carving, etc. They are also famous for making Puppets and Masks etc.

The typical "Odia" house in a village has mud walls and a gabled roof on a wood or bamboo frame thatched with straw. The rooms are contiguous with a verandah in the front opening out to an oblong or square yard known as danda and a backyard known as badi to serve as the kitchen garden. A comparatively prosperous house, of a middle class family, comprises alignment of rooms on the four sides (khanja) arranged round an inner courtyard known as agana with a separate cattle shed outside. The better constructed houses are furnished with mud ceilings built on bamboo or wooden frames to be used for storage of household articles as well as for the cooling effect in summer.

The villages of Odisha have a rich tradition of art and cultural activities. The rural people celebrate various fairs and festivals throughout the year with pomp and cheerfulness. The festivals have always been a part and parcel of village life in Odisha. The villagers celebrate all the popular festivals like Holi, Diwali, Dussehra etc. Apart from these, there are also some regional and local festivals. The Ratha Yatra is the principal festival in Odisha. Apart from Ratha Yatra, the other major festivals include Akshay Tritiya, Raja, Dhanu Yatra, Magha Saptami, Makar Sankranti, Mahastami, Kumar Purnima, Dipavali Amavasya, Sri Nrusingha Chatturdashi, Janmashtami, Kartika Purnima, Navaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Rakhi Purnima, Nuakhai etc.

People in the villages of Odisha perform different forms of traditional music and dance during the fairs and festivals. The most popular folk or traditional music forms in the villages include Balipuja Geeta, Kendra Geeta, Jaiphula Geeta, Bhajan, Sariman, Champu, Malasri, Vyanjani, Chaturang, Tribhang etc. The traditional dance form of Odisha, Odissi is one of the most important features of celebration of festivals in the villages. Apart from Odissi, the other popular dance forms performed during the festivals include Chhau, Naga dance, Humo, Bauli, Jhulki, Jamudali, Mayalajar, Gunjikata, Ghumra etc. 

Village life has an impressive charm about it. The villages of Odisha present a unique blend of tradition and modernity. The villagers like to preserve their traditional forms of music and dance and they have also willingly accepted the modern musical and dance forms. This rich variety and cultural diversity has made the villages of Odisha one of the most attractive tourist destinations. The villages play a major role in the tourism sector of the state by attracting several tourists from all over the country, every year.

Tribal Life of Odisha:
Odisha has one of the largest concentrations of tribal population 22.13% in the whole country constitutes about 7 million. The tribal people express their cultural identity and distinctiveness in their social organisation, language, rituals and festivals and also in their dress, ornament, art and craft. The 62 tribes which is 24% of total population of Odisha vary in their size, degree of socialization and economic patterns. Important tribal groups are Kondh, Koya, Bonda, Gadaba, Parja, Santhal, Juang, Oroan, Gond, Ho, Bhumia, Binjaland Bathudi. The majority of tribal population inhabits the forests and hilly regions of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, phulbani, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Balangir, Kalahandi and Koraputs district. 

Tribal culture is rich and distinct. Each tribal village manages its internal affairs very smoothly through the village council of elders and the youth dormitory. They are two major institutions in tribal community. Tribal of Odisha observe a sting of festivals. Some related to family like birth, death or a daughter attaining puberty. But when sowing or harvest time comes the entire community gets involved. This is an occasion for mohua liquor, a game roasted on the spirit and a night of song, dance and revelry.

The tribes believe that their life and work are controlled by supernatural beings whose abode is around them in hills, forests, rivers and houses. It is very difficult to standardize the Gods and spirits as their composition continually changes when old ones are forgotten with the introduction of new ones. Their Gods differ from one another in composition, function, character and nature. Some are benevolent, some are neutral and some are malevolent. The malevolent spirits and Gods are cared more than their benevolent counter parts as they can bring misery.

This colorful Tribal groups and their life style are very interesting for modern life. So these interesting tribal lifestyles of Tribal groups attract people from different part of the world to visit their lifestyle. Odisha Tribal Tours means tours to Odisha to visit different colorful Tribes, their culture, tradition and complete lifestyle which makes a big difference from Modern life.

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