Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Quiz About Rasgulla #RasagolaA2Z

Many Quiz books have the correct information that- Odisha is the birthplace of Rasgulla/Rasagola.  

Here is one of the questions of the first Odisha Quiz that I had conducted on Twitter in 2014-

How many answers you know about the "King of Sweets"- Rasgulla?

It is called "Rasagola" in Odisha.

Let us check your RQ- Rasagola Quotient :)

Questions:

Q1- Odisha Rasagola has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2019- 

A) True

B) False 

Q2- Name the place in Odisha where Padma Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik, sand-artist, has created these sand art-

Monday, 19 April 2021

Proposal To Odisha Government For Rasagola And GI Celebration #RasagolaA2Z

We have been celebrating Rasagola Dibasa on Social Media on Niladri Bije starting 2015.
July 30, 2015 was the Niladri Bije of the Nabakalebara Ratha Jatra.
This year 2021 will mark the 7th celebration.

There were many developments after our maiden Rasagola Dibasa celebration online. (Many people didn't even know about Niladri Bije till then.) 
It was encouraging to see the action following earnest request for Geographical Indication (GI) application for Odisha Rasagola.
For some intellectuals, GI tag did/does not matter and some find/found it - "amusing to see netizens being vocal about GI tag just because of some sort of ill-reasoned vanity & self admiration." 

It was wonderful that our advocacy for Odisha Rasagola GI Tag was rewarded.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Odisha Art And Sweet- Pattachitra And Rasgulla #RasagolaA2Z

Pattachitra is a traditional fine-art of Odisha

Like Rasagola, Pattachitra too is linked with Shree Jagannatha Temple, Puri, Odisha, India. 
The word Pata comes from the Sanskrit word "Patta" meaning “a piece of cloth” and "Chitra" meaning "painting". 

Niladri Bije is celebrated as Rasgulla Day i.e. #RasagolaDibasa.

As per the centuries-old continuing tradition of Puri Temple, Lord Jagannath offers Rasagolas (Rasgullas) to appease His wife, Devi Laxmi. Also, each year, on this last day of Rath Yatra, the devotees offer Rasagolas to the deities.

Friday, 16 April 2021

Name Rasgulla, Niladri Bije, And New Year Wishes #RasagolaA2Z

Name - Rasgulla , Rasagola, Rasgolla, Rasogolla, Rosogolla, Roshogulla...

The definition of Name as per the Merriam Webster Dictionary-

Definition of name-

1aa word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing
ba word or symbol used in logic to designate an entity
2a descriptive often disparaging epithet
ban illustrious record FAME
ca person or thing with a reputation
4FAMILYCLAN
5appearance as opposed to reality
6one referred to by a name

Whenever the name Rasagola / Rasgulla  or any of its myriad spellings/pronunciation comes up, most people instantly think of one eastern state of India and its capital city.

Have you ever wondered how and why is it so? 

That is the top-of-mind recall. People are not aware about the true place of origin- Rasagola is the Sweet Treat of Odisha. 

The misinformation cycle continues.

Very few know the reality about Rasagola name and origin. The word 'Rasagola' exists in 15th Century Odia Ramayana (when Calcutta city where Rasgulla is believed to have been "invented in 1868" did not even exist.) 

Name Rasagola was coined in Odisha that has many desserts, dishes and other words starting with Rasa like Rasakora, Rasabara, Rasabali, Rasakhai, Rasaphena, Rasmalai, Rasagola and many more.

Rasagola still plays an important role in Rath Yatra celebration. Thus, it is a Sweet Yatra.

Rasagola is as old as the Rath Yatra.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Maha Bishuba Sankranti or Pana Sankranti And Rasagola #RasagolaA2Z

April 14th is the Maha Bishuba Sankranti.

It is celebrated as the Odia New Year. It is also called- Pana Sankranti.

Art by- Shri Rabindra Kumar Maharana

Many regions of India celebrate their New Year around this time. More information in the previous post-
List of Lunar And Solar Indian New Year Days.

In Odisha and in Odia households, a special drink called Pana is prepared and available on Pana Sankranti. 

Pana offered in glasses & containers; PC- Shared on WhatsApp

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

List of Lunar And Solar Indian New Year Days #RasagolaA2Z

Our country is celebrating the Hindu new year festivals now. In our vast country, famous for its diversity, many days are celebrated as the New Year Days in different parts. The observance is based on the calendar followed by the region- whether lunar or solar calendar.

For the regions that follow the Solar calendar, the new year falls in the month of Vaishakha or April in calendar:

- Baisakhi in North and Central India, 

- Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu in Assam, 

- Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, 

- Vishu in Kerala, 

- Pana Sankranti in Odisha (celebrated in Chaitra month)

- Poila Boishakh in Bengal 

For the regions that follow Lunar calendar, the new year is celebrated on the first day in the month of Chaitra (corresponding to March-April):

Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka 

Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra. 

In many parts of India, New Year Celebrations begin in the spring.

Please refer to this webpage for the full list of lunar and solar Indian New Year Days along with the usual dates for celebration.

Today, April 14th is the Odia Nababarsa i.e. the Odia New Year, also called Mahabishuba Sankranti or Pana Sankranti.

A delicious refreshing drink called Pana is prepared. 

Source

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Khirmohan And Rasagola #RasagolaA2Z

On July 30 2015, FOLLOWING OUR RASAGOLA DIBASA / RASGULLA DAY MAIDEN CELEBRATION ONLINE, #RASAGOLADIBASA TRENDED, AND THERE WERE DISCUSSIONS AND DEBATES regarding RASGULLA "ORIGIN".

Though we had started the Rasgulla Day celebration on social media to #EndRasgullaDebate, yet even today, misinformation regarding Chhena and Rasgulla "invention" continues.
This is just one of the YouTube videos on the topic. 
Many erroneously believe- Rosogolla/Rasgulla belongs to Bengal; Khiramohana belongs to Odisha! 
They are yet to know that- Rasagola and NOT Khirmohan/Khiramohana is the bhog/prasad on Niladri Bije of Rath Yatra.
Bhitarachha Mohapatra is the sebaka of the Shree Jagannatha Temple, who prepares Rasagola for the said ritual. Two years ago, when this writer asked him about Khiramohana, he expressed his ignorance and said that he hadn't even heard of the word!

Owing to the incorrect information available online, there are many myths about Khirmohan and Rasgulla. Here are a few-

Myth 1. 'Khiramohana' "WAS" offered to Shree Jagannatha in the Puri Temple.

Truth- Nothing called 'Khiramohana' was or ever has been a part of the dishes served in the Puri Temple. 


Myth 2. Khiramohana was the original name of Rasagola offered in the Puri Temple. 

Truth- As per centuries-old continuing tradition, servitors have been offering original 'Rasagola' (and NOT Khiramohana) in the Puri Temple. 


Myth 3. The word 'Rasagola' was first coined and used in Bengal; Odisha copied it from Bengal.

Truth- The word 'Rasagola' finds mention in centuries-old texts like the Odia Ramayana dating to the 15th Century when Bengal's capital city didn't even exist! Rasagola's link with Odisha is as ancient as the Rath Yatra of Puri, Odisha.


Myth 4. Name 'Rasagola' started to be used instead of 'Khiramohana' in the Puri Temple. 

Truth- Name 'Khiramohana' was never used in the Puri Temple. Niladri Bije is a continuing tradition from centuries. Each year on the last day of the Rath Yatra, Rasagolas are offered to pacify Goddess Lakshmi and to the deities. 


Myth 5. Khiramohana is brown. Brown coloured sweet is offered in the Puri Temple.

Truth- The Rasagola offered on Niladri Bije, the last day of the Ratha Jatra, is white.

PC: @manojmishratwit- Twitter

Monday, 12 April 2021

Lord Jagannatha's Favourite Sweet And Food #RasagolaA2Z

Puri Dhaam or Jagannatha Dhaam is one of the Chaar Dhaam- four holiest places of visit for Hindus.
Lord Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe.
Puri is called the Bhoga Kshetra as this is the place where the Lord eats.

That explains the vast variety of dishes and foods offered to Shree Jagannatha at the Puri Temple.
The Shree Jagannatha Temple at Puri has one of the largest kitchens in the world and serves thousands of devotees. 
This 12th Century Temple is also called Shreemandira. 'Shree' means Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that Devi Lakshmi cooks the food. 

People think that "Chhappan Bhog" (56 dishes/offerings) are available and served; however, the number of dishes is much more in number than 56. 

Earlier, I always thought that Rasagola (Rasgulla) is Shree Jagannatha's favourite sweet.

Like Rasagola, many sweets and dishes of Odisha like Chhenapoda are made using cottage-cheese i.e. Chhena.
In 2016, while researching to write a blog about 'Chhenapoda - Uncommon Food', I came across some reports that stated that Chhenapoda is Lord Jagannatha's favourite sweet.
(From L to R)- Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra & Lord Jagannath

Indigenous Knowledge, IPR, Rasgulla And Indian Sweets #RasagolaA2Z

IN 2015, FOLLOWING OUR RASAGOLA DIBASA / RASGULLA DAY MAIDEN CELEBRATION ONLINE ON JULY 30, #RASAGOLADIBASA TRENDED AND THERE WERE DISCUSSIONS AND DEBATES ABOUT RASGULLA "ORIGIN". 

That was the purpose of our celebration - to end the Rasgulla debate and controversy and settle it in the favour of truth and research i.e. in Odisha's favour.
However, even today, there is much misinformation regarding Chhena and Rasgulla "invention" both on internet and offline.
Rasgulla is just thought to be synonymous with another state and its capital city, and not Odisha. Searches on internet reveal the ignorance. Odisha is still not being given any credit for Rasgulla despite being this dessert's birthplace.
Source: Twitter

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Historical Evidence of Rasgulla And Research #RasagolaA2Z

Historical references and evidences are much needed while filing the Geographical Indication (GI) Application.

Following our Rasagola Dibasa i.e. Rasgulla Day celebration online on July 30, 2015, the topic Rasgulla trended.

There were many debates and discussions and intellectuals and researchers shared the available information.

However, it included misleading and false information regarding Chhena and Rasgulla invention too.

The neighbouring state filed for the GI of their Rasogolla in September 2015.

Odisha Government set up three committees and was in the process of "collecting evidence".

This report has more.

Based on the interim report of the three panels set up by the state government to prepare evidence about Rasagola:

"The committees, in their report, have stated that there is conclusive evidence on the use of Rasagolla in Odisha for a long time. This sweet dish was prepared by several mutts and temples in the state about 600 years ago," Odisha's Science and Technology Minister, Pradip Kumar Panigrahi said.

Panigrahi said there were evidences supporting Odisha's claim over Rasagolla in epics like Mahabharata, the one written by Sarala Das, 'Dandi Ramayan' and also in Madala Panji, the ancient text used by the 12th century Sri Jagannath Temple.

Odisha claims evidence of Rasagola availability 600 years ago

GI Tags of Odisha And Odisha Rasagola #RasagolaA2Z

Geographical Indication (GI) is a type of Intellectual Property Right (IPR).

Some unique and reputed products of different geographical areas of India have earned the GI Tag.  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. 

As on date, Odisha has 17 GI products.

List of the Geographical Indication (GIs) Of Odisha-

  1. Kotpad Handloom Fabric - Handicraft
  2. Orissa Ikat - Handicraft
  3. Konark Stone Carving - Handicraft
  4. Orissa Pattachitra - Handicraft
  5. Pipli Applique Work - Handicraft
  6. Khandua Saree and Fabrics - Handicraft
  7. Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics - Handicraft
  8. Ganjam Kewda Rooh - Manufactured
  9. Ganjam Kewda Flower - Agricultural
  10. Dhalapathar Parda & Fabrics - Handicraft
  11. Sambalpuri Bandha Saree & Fabrics - Handicraft
  12. Bomkai Saree & Fabrics - Handicraft
  13. Habaspuri Saree & Fabrics - Handicraft
  14. Berhampur Patta (Phoda Kumbha) Saree & Joda - Handicraft
  15. Araku Valley Arabica Coffee - Agricultural
  16. Kandhamal Haladi - Agricultural
  17. Odisha Rasagola - Food Stuff

The above is the correct list of Geographical Indications of Odisha.
Different lists with some omissions and additions can be seen while referring to the "GIs of Odisha" lists shared in multiple online articles and news reports.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Facts, Fake News, and False Information About Rasgulla #RasagolaA2Z

Many people are not aware about Rasgulla's centuries-old continuing cultural and historical association with Odisha and Puri Rath Yatra. 

Many think Odisha 'lost' and Bengal 'won' the Rasgulla battle/war.

Blatant lies and biased reports regarding Rasgulla/Rasagola still continue freely, unchecked and unabashed.

Myths about cottage-cheese, chhena and Rasagola are regularly shared.

Odisha Rasagola At Exhibitions and Events #RasagolaA2Z

Rasgulla or Rasagola is offered on the last day of the Ratha Jatra.

Many people do not know about this ancient continuing tradition - that has been continuing every year, for the past several centuries. This establishes Rasgulla's link with Odisha.

Many are yet to know that Odisha has earned the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag for Odisha Rasagola. Earning the tag has given a chance to the Registered Proprietors and Authorised Users to be represented in GI Exhibitions.

In the past GI exhibitions in which this writer was a part, Odisha Rasagola could not earn a place as it had not earned the GI tag then.

The public can be introduced to Rasagola if they get to see and taste and experience Rasagola at one place.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Rasgulla Day - Rasagola Dibasa Celebration #RasagolaA2Z

Day is called Dibasa in Odia. 

Rasagola Dibasa or Rasgulla Day means a day to celebrate Rasagola.

Did you know about Rasgulla Day?

The first celebration of a day for Rasgulla was done in Odisha, India.

No matter by what spelling it is referred to- Rasgulla Divas, Rasagola Diwas etc, the fact remains that Odisha not only invented the sweet, but it also has been celebrating a day for Rasgulla.

No one really knows how old is the celebration of "Niladri Bije", the last day of the Ratha Jatra, when Rasagola is traditionally offered to Maa Lakshmi and Shree Jagannatha at the Shree Jagannatha Temple, Puri. If you ask an average Odia about "Rasagola Day", they will tell you about Niladri Bije.

It is said- "Ratha Jatra jebethu, Rasagola sebethu." - Rasagola is as old as the Ratha Jatra.


Niladri Bije is celebrated each year on-ground and as a continuing tradition from many centuries in the Shree Jagannatha Temple, Puri, and in many other religious places like mathas and temples.

There was a need to propose and initiate celebration of Rasagola Dibasa on social media & online & also to join in the offline Niladri Bije celebrations to change wrong perceptions-

Myth 1. Rasgulla was invented in Bengal. 

Reality- Odisha is the birthplace of Rasgulla

Myth 2. All Chhena sweets are associated only with Bengal. 

Reality - Odisha has been the pioneer of Chhena sweets and other sweets.

Myth 3. Portuguese taught Indians how to prepare Cottage-Cheese i.e. Chhena. 

Reality of Cottage-Cheese or Chhena

Cottage-Cheese, Chhena, And Comments About Rasgulla #RasagolaA2Z

Cottage-cheese or Chhena, a milk product, is the main ingredient required to produce the 'King of Sweets"- Rasagola or Rasgulla.

Milk is split or curdled to create Chhena.
Odisha earned the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Odisha Rasagola on 29 July, 2019.

However, a false narrative has been set. The following myths are still being propagated-

Myth 1. Curdled milk or Chhena is "impure" and hence "taboo" and cannot be offered to God.
Myth 2. Chhena is not offered in any temple as there are restrictions.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Blatant Lies And Biased Reports About Rasgulla Invention #RasagolaA2Z

Blatant lies have been and are still being peddled about Rasgulla and "Bengali invention".

Do you know the history of this "king of sweets"?

Your version of the story will depend on your source of information.

Check out this video for the special "Rasgulla History" report by Zee News

Here is another report by Zee News about Rasgulla's Birthplace.

Money power and propaganda can succeed in creating such fake stories.

These reports claim that Bengal is the birthplace of Rasgulla! They are also claiming Rasmalai dish was invented in Bengal!

Though both these reports are of March 2021, they don't even mention that Odisha has earned the Odisha Rasagola GI in 2019. Zee News has made it look that only Bengal is synonymous with Rasgulla!

What you know has been fed by either media or people you know, who in turn are fed by media and people they know! 

This is a bad case of 'Chinese Whispers'. One media house publishes a false or misleading report with vested interests, and others may reuse the same biased report & continue the trend.

Also, of money and muscle power. Truth is suppressed by the so-called "superior intellectual and cultural prowess". Superior people must not steal others credit and identity. 

This is a glaring case of cultural appropriation.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

A To Z of Rasagola - April 1 #UtkalDivas #RasagolaA2Z

When you hear the word- Rasagola or Rasgulla, what comes to your mind?

Most people in India would recognize this "King of Sweets".

However, those who have not heard about it or tasted it, may not realize what they have been missing. 

"The proof of the Rasagola is in the eating."

Today is April 1st- celebrated as- Utkal Divas / Utkala Dibasa i.e. Odisha Day.

In Odisha, we have multiple reasons to celebrate many festivities and every occasion with Rasagola - be it birthday, anniversary, grihapravesh, thread-ceremony...even death ceremony.

Just eat and celebrate sweetness with Rasagola, and all is well.

All is well till someone (read an Odia) tries to bring out the truth about Rasagola - that Odisha is the birthplace of Rasagola! That's when all either oppose or say that this is inconsequential! 

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Sandwiched

Though they were at a distance, they made an effort to reach out.

Their arms managed to touch.

They seemed to have eyes just for each other. 

All this was evident to me- their new neighbour.

I hoped not to cause any obstruction.

I felt guilty to be sandwiched between the two.

Perhaps, I was being too conscientious?

PHOTO PROMPT - Dale Rogerson

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

The Girl I Loved

I fell in love with her at first sight.

Ah! Her carefree laughter and touch!

She often came and hugged me. 

The onlookers sure were jealous of me, judgmental about our vast age-gap...

PHOTO PROMPT - Liz Young
I didn't care as long as I had her unconditional love. 

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Vitamin Sea

Her latest medical test-reports revealed acute Vitamin-D deficiency.

Her doctor asked her to get adequate sunshine.

Staying indoors did have its toll.


Vitamin Sea was her favourite. 

She decided to travel to her favourite beach.

It was her first vacation after the pandemic.

The popular beach wore a desolate look.

She was all alone.

PHOTO PROMPT - CEAyr

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Rosy Rendezvous By The Chilika #StoryTellersBlogHop

Kali Jai Prasad. 

No, not three different names.

It's my name. 


Bapa and Maa had lovingly named me as the offering or gift of Goddess Kalijai.

Kalijai island is located in the Chilika Lake in Odisha. It has a temple dedicated to Goddess Kalijai. 

Not wanting to name me as "Kalijai Prasad", they gave a space between Kali & Jai! 

Isn't it amazing what a little bit of space can do!

However, if you find my name too long or old-fashioned, you can just call me by my nickname- "Jai".


We stay near Lake Chilika. 

Bapa often says that they had nothing before I came into their life.

I brought them luck. His seafood business started flourishing. 

Veeru- Veerendra Prasad- was born five years later. 

Veerendra means 'brave and noble man.'

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Lockdown Doll

She had made several rounds of the departmental stores during the lockdown.

Her frequent visits did not ensure availability of what she wanted.

The products were always out of stock.

Along with other pandemic essentials, everyone seemed to be obsessed with toilet-paper rolls & tissue-paper!

PHOTO PROMPT - Trish Nankivell
Some people wanted to buy cart-loads of these!

She decided to highlight this issue.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Accident At Cuttack - Justice For Victim

It is terrible to learn that my friend's father, Shri Sribatsa Acharya, has met with an accident at Cuttack.
Having suffered a head injury and fracture, his condition is serious.
He is admitted to Omm Suvam Hospital, Ranihat, Cuttack, and is undergoing treatment there.

Yesterday when I called up to enquire how Shri Acharya was recovering, my friend said that his head had been stitched up and leg had been plastered. 
There has been a substantial memory-loss with Shri Acharya presently being unable to identify people.
It is sad to see him suffering so badly while the person responsible for his plight is moving scot-free... 

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Bajasal Dance Of Kalahandi At Republic Day Parade 2021

Republic Day parade showcases India's heritage, diversity and military might. This is a glorious chance to learn more about our incredible India. Lakhs of Indians tune in to watch this event live.

Earning a chance to perform in this august event is a matter of great pride and emotional moment for the artists and the states. 

This year 2021, Odisha was the only state from Eastern India to showcase one of its tribal folk dance. 

In 2020, Odisha had won the second prize for its Tableaux.

However, unlike last year, this year Odisha did not have a Tableaux. 

The selection of Odisha's 'Bajasal' dance performance by Kalahandi folk artists made everyone happy. 

Bajasal is a graceful folk dance of Kalahandi, Odisha, that is usually performed during weddings. 

'Baja' refers to the instrument- a drum played in the dance and 'Sal' means the place where those instruments are played. 

Before the marriage function, many ceremonies are held as per their traditional rites and rituals. Young boys and girls sing songs alternatively, dance to music and tease each other as part of the performance. 

Did you know that this folk dance is also called 'Bihasal'?

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

The Smart Assistant

A business tycoon was found dead in his office-room.

The CCTV had been tampered.

“Do you notice anything unusual here?” the police asked his personal assistant when she arrived at the crime scene.

One look at his room and she pointed at the packaged water-bottle.

Photo- Marie Gail Stratford

Monday, 25 January 2021

Faction Distraction Reflection

I was struggling with my To-Do List.

I heard an inner-voice- "Your New Year resolution was to write at least one story a week!" 

"I'm dealing with the factions", I replied. 

Image Courtesy: Pexels.com

"Real or imaginary?"

“You know that, dear conscience!”

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


39 words fiction for- Weekend Writing Prompt # 193- FACTION

Do you have a conversation with with yourself? What was your last self-talk about?

Friday, 1 January 2021

The Sands Of Time

As the sands of time pass,

The other side of the hour-glass

Becomes weightier than it was last 

Having more volume than in the past! 

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The seconds, minutes, hours & days,

Continue to be added whether we work/laze! 

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