Saturday 18 April 2020

Odisha Geographical Indications And Spellings #OdishaGI #KnowYourGI #GIsofIndia

Odisha is a culturally and naturally-rich state situated in eastern India. 
As per records, Odisha's history is at least 5,000 years old. 
Odisha has been known by many names over the centuries.
"Kalinga" and "Utkala" are popularly used even today. More information here

Odisha was the first state of India formed on the linguistic basis. 
Orissa, a state of Oriya speakers, was established as a province of British India on 1 April 1936
We celebrate 1 April every year as Utkala Dibasa.

Note- Odisha was previously called "Orissa." 
The English name Orissa was changed to "ODISHA" in 2011. 
The spelling of Oriya language too has been changed to "ODIA" in 2011
However, many people are not aware and continue to use the old spellings.
Many books and maps are yet to update the correct spellings.
Some organisations/offices etc. have to use the old name i.e. "Orissa" as their names still have not been changed.
Even the High Court of Odisha state is still called "Orissa High Court".
The old spellings still continue to be used.

Two Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha also have the old spelling "Orissa" in their name as they had been filed when Odisha state was known by her old name.
Thus, continue using the names submitted in the GI applications- "Orissa Ikat" and "Orissa Pattachitra" as these earned the GI certificates in the years 2005 & 2008 respectively.
The above image is of the first all-India GI exhibition held at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.

Now, seeing the old name "Orissa" still in use at such GI-stalls at exhibitions, people think this is the correct spelling of Odisha!
And the misinformation/misspelling cycle continues...

We have discussed this with the GI and Govt. officials and many others and expressed how this is creating confusion regarding our products and state. 
Just like Odisha state's name was changed legally, the names of High Court & GIs need to be changed legally too from Orissa to Odisha.

Also, both the spellings Pattachitra and Patachitra are in use to refer to Odisha's art. Even in Odia language, there is corresponding usage of ପଟ୍ଟଚିତ୍ର & ପଟଚିତ୍ର.

The GI application for Odisha Rasagola was submitted in the year 2018 and it earned the GI tag in 2019.
Thus, the name "Odisha" has been used instead of the old name Orissa.

Am eagerly waiting for "ODISHA RASAGOLA" stall at the next GI exhibition!

I feel the names of the products need to have the proper spelling reflecting the cultural identity or pronunciation.

Take Rasgulla for instance. 
Many people are aware of this spelling that is true to the Hindi spelling and pronunciation of Rasgulla
It is spelled differently by different people.
But, a consistent spelling is important in order to ensure uniformity and regional identity.

#RasagolaDibasa celebration by Odias on social media from 2015 Nabakalebara Ratha Jatra onwards has been a step in this direction.

Thereafter, this author has made several requests for representing the correct spelling- ODISHA RASAGOLA- in the GI Application.
Initially, GI application submission had been as- "Odishara Rasagola" name.

Great when sincere and persistent efforts attain success for such spelling and GI application endeavour.

Using correct spellings is extremely important as Geographical Indications are a representation of a particular geographical area.
GIs are linked to a region for long and many generations of a community have been involved in manufacturing these products over the centuries.
GIs showcase the culture and heritage.
Shouldn't they be spelled as per the local language or records? 

Pipili is a town near Puri that is famous for applique work. However, the GI tag is for- "Pipli Applique Work." Why should both Pipli and Pipili be used as spellings?  

The name of the turmeric from Kandhamal District of Odisha is "Kandhamal Haladi".
Haladi has been used in the name of the GI Application and not Haldi as Haladi is true to the Odia language spelling and pronunciation in contrast to Haldi which is the Hindi spelling.

After the Odisha Rasagola GI tag, Odisha state Govt is planning to apply for some more GIs.
It includes Tarakasi.

A point of concern is that some ignorant artisans, media, and general public are using the wrong spelling- Tarkashi.
Note- Tarakasi is NOT a GI of Odisha as yet.
I am mentioning about Tarakasi spelling in this post to make sure that we submit the correct spelling in our GI Application.

Google Arts & Culture has wonderfully documented many arts and crafts including Tarakasi.

However, the spelling used was wrong earlier. They had used 'Tarkashi' (that is a handicraft of Uttar Pradesh (UP) for which UP Govt has already submitted the GI Application).
I am so glad that they heeded to this writer's request and have now updated the spelling to Tarakasi in their article!

Artisans and everyone needs to take note and use the correct spellings.
You can also read more about Tarakasi on Wikipedia.
Tarakasi is just one of the potential GIs that people are misspelling.
There are many many more. 

Care must be taken to use the correct local name and spelling in the GI application.
After a product earns the GI tag, more people get to learn about it. If a wrong spelling is used for registration, then that is the one that gets used and more people get to know and use the wrong spelling!

Meanwhile, are you still using Orissa as the spelling for Odisha? 
Did you know that the spelling has been changed 9 years ago? 

How will people know and become aware unless they are informed and facts are shared?

Humble Request- If you find anyone misspelling the name of our state, Geographical Indications, handicraft, handloom etc., please inform them and ask them to use the correct spellings.

O For- Odisha, Orissa
Orissa Ikat, Orissa Pattachitra, Odisha Rasagola

I am writing A-Z posts about the Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha #OdishaGI.
GI is a distinctive certificate used to identify a product as originating from a particular region or locality that has specific qualities, reputation or other unique characteristics. GI products are linked with the culture, traditions, history etc. of a geographical location. 
Only when info is shared, people can learn and be aware.
This is my sincere attempt to share information about the GI Tags of Odisha.
You can check out my other GI posts here.
Let us all use GI products - the "invaluable treasures of incredible India", and encourage our artisans, weavers, and farmers.
Are you aware of the Geographical Indications of India? 
Which spelling of Rasagola and Odisha are you using?
Please do share in the comments below.  
Kindly Note- Spellings are- Odisha, Odia and Odissi


  1. Many people including journalists still use old spellings. It is nice to see you taking proactive steps to clear the misconceptions.

  2. The lack of uniformity is totally confusing. The same with many cities. It's Madras High Court, Bombay University. If we have don't away with the anglicized version and gone back to the original name in the native language, why not apply to everything?

  3. This use of different spellings can also be related to mixed up cultures. It represents the diversity of Indian languages too. For instance, Haldi- Haladi, Rasgulla- Rasogola are different pronunciations in different languages. Though the use of old and new names like Orissa and Odisha should be corrected. Wonderful job by you in spreading awareness in this field. Never heard of TARAKASI earlier. Looks interesting. Would like to know more about it.

  4. Same here ! Good to know at least today...

  5. Quite true! And, really there should be an active initiative to make these spellings accurate to the pronunciation. I didn't know though that Kandhamal Haldi is actually haladi...I may have used haldi while making ppts when I was working with the turmeric clusters there.

  6. Yeah I still remember that day when I walked off the plane into the airport and everywhere there were posters saying Odisha... And I was so elated... Have they finally changed the spelling... I was so tired of saying Odisha and then correcting it for my lesser known outside the state fren's to Orissa earlier...

    I had no clue it was spelled anything different from Tarakasi earlier!! Odisha Rasagola ...did it finally get the GI tag... Oh I wasn't aware of this... Great news :)


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