A blog discussing life and things in Odisha

Village Life in Odisha

Village Life! Seems different!

Although everyone of us is attracted and fascinated by the sophisticated life style of metro cities and towns;  deep inside all of us have a  strong desire to live and enjoy the Village life.  Cities are always full of noise, pollution, crowd while the village life is filled with natural beauty, peaceful environment, fresh and clean air. Who will disagree to the truth that village people are more loving, friendly and show a great sense of brotherhood even for strangers.

Fisherman near submerged playground

In a city,  we will find ourselves inside our house, no one interested in another, bored of daily busy schedules and disturbances.  But in village  every houses are  interlinked  with the thread of neighborhood.

People gossip with each other, take bath in ponds and rivers, or even go for fishing, enjoy small feasts and picnics and a lot more fun. Those green paddy fields spread through a long distance, those high mountains and hills, beautiful landscapes with rivers flowing along the green fields, show cases the scenic beauty of village life. Read through to have an amazing feel of  the awesomeness of village life in Odisha.

Village Life : A Deep Look

Odisha is the state of villages and full of natural beauties. Every district you visit, you will find villages. Every village is surrounded by ever flowing rivers . For an instance, the Villages of Bhadrak, Keonjhar and Jajpur districts are surrounded by Brahmani, Baitarani and their tributaries. People in villages often have a bath in the rivers, they usually don’t like to have bath inside congested space like a bathroom.

Danda Pokhari
Danda Pokhari

Also it is believed that bathing in river is holy and sacred. Apart from it, all the villages have a number of ponds. A pond in each Sahi ( A part of Village) like Panda Sahi Pokhari (Pond) , Rout Sahi Pokhari is useful for the people of that Sahi. Another is the Danda Pokhari (Street Pond) which every people can use. Annually or Semi annually, the ponds are cleaned and nets are thrown to catch fish. All the fish caught are divided and sold to the people of the village at low price. The fish from the pond and rivers are called Desi Machha (Homely Fish) which taste delicious and are also best for health. 

Morning in a Village

In a city, when you wake up in the morning, what do you get to see? You might see through your window, the roads, the multi floored buildings, a number of vehicles, shops and markets, crowd… ooh..  Isn’t it so boring? 

Well, in a village you will definitely wake up with the Kukudu Ku voice of a cock or Caw Caw voice of a crow. Most of the village people wake up early in the morning around 5 o’clock during summer and before 6 am in the shivering winter.

The villages are surrounded by trees and greeneries, so the morning air remains fresh and rich of oxygen. People take bath and eat their breakfast. They usually don’t go for morning exercise because they are so hard working and prone to natural diets that they never suffer from obesity or any heart diseases. Some people like to eat Mudhi (puffed rice) with tea, roti with tea but most of them eat Pakhala (watered rice) with Bhaja ( Fried Vegetables) and Alu Poda (Burnt potato dish ).

Looking at the sun
A village morning

Normally children go to school after eating Pakhala.  The farmers and job holders, teachers, workers, shop keepers  start their work after eating Pakhala as the morning breakfast. During holidays and in free time people catch fish in the pond and river in the morning to prepare a delicious mean at noon.  

Noon in a Village

 It’s hard summer and you don’t have an air conditioner installed in your room. Does it feel easy to you? No…? But Yes, villagers in very rare case use air conditioners.  The electricity power cut is very frequent in villages. During summer it is not possible for us to feel relaxed without electricity. But if you go to a village during the summer you will find that the villagers have their unique style to fight against summer. Houses in villages are generally straw roofed and reflect sun light to an extreme extent cooling the inside room at night. Also due to presence of sufficient trees along the roads, there is more shadow and also the villagers eat Pakhala and cold dishes during the noon. 

Evening and Night in a Village

In the evening the farmers return  from the fields,  all the villagers gather at places, and start gossiping. Some play cards (Taas), children play Ludoo, women cook dinner, watch television serials, students go for tuitions . Grand parents tell stories to their grand children. The darkness of the evening is a different kind of scene that can’t be described. People in villages usually have their dinner and go to bed by 10:00 p.m..

Traditions, Cultures and Celebrations in a Village 

The village life is always full of traditional events and festivals. All the festive seasons and rituals  represent the culture of Odisha.  Gods and Goddesses are worshipped with true Bhakti Bhava (devotion).

Village women always wear sarees fully covered on head and show respect to their mother-in-law. Married women are not allowed to take directly the names of their husbands and father-in-laws. A married woman is also prohibited from touching the elder brother of her husband. The daughter-in-laws take great care of her husband, father and mother-in-law and the kids. These not only represent the huge respect and tradition of Hinduism but also gives a feel of love and affection. 

Boita bandhana festival 03

All the households celebrate the festivals with great enthusiasm and joy. Raja, Ashtami, Purnami, Ekadasi, bada Osha , Makara Sankranti  all the festivals are observed in Odisha. 

Last but not the least

The most interesting fact about village life is that the immense love and pleasure you will find in the hearts of the people, has no comparison. May be the cities are full of aristocracy, but village life being simple offers a high concise state of moral meaning of Life. The green fields of villages where crops grow like gold, the scenic river bays where the sun sets, the humming of birds, the respect for elders, the love of neighbors,  are all what those make a difference. 

I would like to end this with one of the famous poem written by great poet Sachi Routray, about the village life, 

Chhota Mora Gaan ti

Bhugala Pothi Patare Pachhe

Na thau tara naa ti…

My village may be small

The name of it may not be found in the geography book

But it is still lovable

Editor’s note: The writer is depicting village life in a typical inner Odisha Hindu dominated village, mostly found near the coasts. Western Odisha has a different culture that we will write about in some other time.

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