Tuesday 28 July 2020

Kendrapara Rasabali

Rasabali is a traditional sweet of Odisha that is prepared using  chhena i.e. cottage-cheese and thickened sweetened milk. 
This sweet is being offered everyday for the past several centuries at the Baladevjew Temple at Kendrapara district of Odisha. 
It is also one of the bhoga of the Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha.
Rasabali is a very popular sweet dish and has many fans.

A Geographical Indication (GI) tag helps the producers to differentiate their products & to build brand reputation. GI Registry is under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
Being awarded a GI tag is a matter of great pride & prestige for a state.
GIs are the “invaluable treasures of incredible India.” (Atulya Bharat ki Amulya Nidhi).
GIs can ensure economic benefits and prosperity for the producer-groups.

GI Registered Proprietors & Authorized Users (AU/GIAU) can attend all-India GI exhibitions & there can be better promotion. 
GI products fetch a premium price. 
GI tag creates product awareness & publicity. 

How many people knew about Rasagola's association with the Rath Yatra and with Odisha prior to the celebration of Rasagola Dibasa (Rasgulla Day) and before the journey for the GI Tag for "Odisha Rasagola"?
The Odisha Rasagola GI tag has definitely created more awareness - not only about Rasagola, but has generated interest for other GIs also.

Odisha Rasagola earned the GI tag last year on July 29, 2019. 
However, some are yet to know this and think that Odisha has “lost” the GI battle/war! 

Many still have no clue that Odisha has many sweets apart from Rasagola & Chhenapoda!

How many people (outside Odisha) have heard about 'Rasabali' or 'Kendrapara'?
(Some, though living in Odisha, are yet to taste Rasabali!)

When Rasabali earns the GI Tag, more people will learn about the existence of this sweet as well as about its history, and its continuing tradition for centuries. 
They will want to taste it. Demand will increase. 
Kendrapara, Odisha, will find a place in the list of #GIsofIndia. 
Getting more products registered will earn them positions on the GI map of India.

Spellings of our state "Odisha" & our products are yet to be used correctly/uniformly...

For example, consider the spelling of the Odia word- "Rasabali" that is being reported differently in different Odia newspapers (please see the images shared below). 
At least the Odia spelling should be consistent.

Should the district name be spelled as "Kendrapara" or "Kendrapada" in English?
Though public has no consistency for this, the official spelling is the former.
(Note- Kendrapara is just one of the thirty districts of Odisha. Multiple spellings are used by public for the different districts too.)

While advocating the use of standard English spellings, at least for GI products, this author came across some learned people, who opine that spellings are not important! These are the same people who advocate branding, marketing and promotion!  
They forget that product names & brand names have spellings! 
There has to be consistency. 
And everyone must be on the same platform.

A start has to be made somewhere.
Let us help to support such positive processes. 
This author has been trying to create awareness and share information about GIs.
Great that GI advocacy has resulted in the GI tag for Odisha Rasagola and generated such interest for future GIs.
Those interested to learn more can check out my eBook - Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha, published in May 2020.

We have a long way to go.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Rasabali coverage in today’s Prameya and other Odia newspapers.


Had you heard of "Rasabali"? 
Do you know know about its history or significance?
Have you tasted Rasabali?
Please share in the comments below.

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