Monday 11 March 2024

The Spelling of Rasabali In Odia

 Rasabali is a cottage cheese-based dessert of Odisha.

"Kendrapara Rasabali" has the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

When I first started working for this GI, I looked for the spelling of this word- Rasabali- not only in English, but in Odia also.

As "Rasavali" too is derived from Sanskrit, and there the letter "v" is used instead of "b".

When I first consulted with scholars and language experts, those with a strong Sanskrit background advocated the usage of "Rasavali" in the name.

However, the usage of "b" i.e. Rasabali is more common in Odia.

Many of the sellers are already using - "Rasabali" as the name.

As we must be true to our local spelling and name, being "vocal for local", we settled for "Rasabali."

The name of "Kendrapara" was also discussed and went ahead with "Kendrapara" as the district name is - Kendrapara (and not Kendrapada).

These blog posts have more about our Rasabali GI outreach-

After my facilitation for the "Kendrapara Rasabali" GI and despite personally informing the stakeholders multiple times about the need for "correct representation", it was disappointing to find that the GI application had been submitted and the logo had been applied that too with the wrong information and spellings of product, applicants, place etc -

The GI application even had the wrong specification- that Rasabali has a "hole like a doughnut"!
After the GI grant, it was widely shared and product images with holes were shared.

The Odia spelling given in the GI logo is noteworthy- ରସାବଳୀ

Many are using- ରସାବଳି

Spelling of Rasabali in Odia-


In the Odia Bibhaba dictionary, I was looking for "Festival" meaning today and found the following- 



◆ ବି., ଉତ୍ସବ, ପର୍ବ

▹  ନିୟମିତଭାବେ ଅନୁଷ୍ଠିତ ହେଉଥିବା ସଙ୍ଗୀତ କାର୍ଯ୍ୟକ୍ରମ, ଯାତ୍ରା ପ୍ରଭୃତି।

ପ୍ରଶାସନ ଶବ୍ଦାବଳୀ:


◆ ପର୍ବ, ଉତ୍ସବ

Notice the word- ଶବ୍ଦାବଳୀ

Another word is Deepavali or Dipavali or Diwali- 

The following is the meaning as per the Wisdom Library-

Dīpāvali (दीपावली, दिवाली): Lit. a row of lamps. A significant 5-day festival in Hinduism occurring between mid October and mid November. It is also popularly known as the Festival of Lights.

In Odia, ଦୀପାବଳି or ଦୀପାବଳୀ ?

Similarly, there is "Ratnavali"-


There are also words such as-

Patravali means- 
  • स्त्री० [पत्र-आवली, ष० त०] १. सजावट के लिए बनाई जानेवाली फूल-पत्तियाँ या बेल-बूटे आदि। पत्र-लता। २. सुगंधित द्रव्यों और रंगों से चेहरे पर की जानेवाली पत्र-रचना। (देखें) ३.गेरू

  • [Source:]

The word "Avali"-आवली- is used in Sanskrit to denote- "surrounded by".

Rasabali means- The "avali" of "Rasa".

Dr. Mamata Mishra & Prof Siniruddha Dash have explained this many times.

As per the Oxford Encyclopaedia:

"Rasa means juice. The juice of a fruit is called rasa. For example, the juice of mango is mango ras (or rasa)."

I) As per the "Purnnachandra Odia Bhasahakosha"-

ରସାବଳୀ Rasābaḻī [synonym(s): রষাবলী त्र्प्रमृती]ଦେ. ଛ.ଏକପ୍ରକାର ମିଠେଇ—A kind of sweetmeat.(ଉ—ଏଠାରେ ପୂଜା ରସାବଳୀ— ପ୍ରାଚୀ. ଗୁରୁଭକ୍ତିଗୀତା।)[ଦ୍ର—ଏହା ଦୁଧ ଛେନା ଓ କନ୍ଦ ଆଦିରେ ପ୍ରସ୍ତୁତ ହୁଏ। ବିଶେଷତଃ ଏହା କେନ୍ଦ୍ରାପଡ଼ା ବଳଦେବ ମହାପ୍ରଭୁଙ୍କ ନିକଟରେ ଭୋଗ ହୁଏ।]

II)  As per the "Odia Ramayana", i.e. the Dandi Ramayana, it is- ରସାବଳୀ

Note-: The spellings used for I & II - ରସାବଳୀ

The GI Logo also has the same spelling- ରସାବଳୀ

Then, why are most people, including the producers and sellers using the other spelling- ରସାବଳି ?

Whether ରସାବଳି or ରସାବଳୀ, the names of traditional, local and GI products must be uniformly used by all.

The spellings should be standardised and GI logos should be adopted for use by all the stakeholders.

Shops/restaurants selling this dessert must have the same common spelling on hoardings/menu-card etc.

Also, the usage of the term on social media needs care.

Today is "Classical Odia Language Day".

Which Odia spelling of Rasabali are you using? Please share in the comments below.

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