KISS Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar organized a stimulating discourse on the comparative tribal culture of Assam and Odisha. The webinar brought out similarities and differences between tribal culture of the two states with reference to lifestyles, traditions, customs and languages.
Speaking at the webinar, Dr. Jyostna K. Biswal Rout, Director, Center for Language and Cultural Studies, Guwahati University said, “The population of Assam is a broad racial intermix of Mongolian, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Iranian and Aryan origin. This broad racial intermix is the native of Assam, called “Asomiya” or “Assamese”, which is also the name of its state language. The state has the largest number of tribes in terms of their variety in tradition, culture, dresses and exotic way of life. Most tribes have their own languages. Some of their traditions are quite unique and lively”. She presented a picture of the basis of comparison between the tribal cultures of the two states.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Naku Hansdah, Coordinator and Assistant Professor, P.G Department of Odia, Sambalpur University, highlighted some of the facts about the 62 tribes in the state of Odisha. He threw light on the culture of the Santhal tribe and elaborated on their rituals emphasizing on different ceremonies, languages and marriage. “The coastal state of Odisha is home to more than 62 indigenous tribes. Needless to say, these tribes are quite diverse among themselves. Unchanged for centuries and mostly untouched by civilization, the ancient tribal settlements are found on hills or close to rivers flowing near forests, far from the plains. Yet, the cultural ethos, identity and vitality of the state are deeply influenced by its rich ethnic tribal diversity”, he added.
Earlier, Prof. Harekrishna Satapathy, Vice-Chancellor, KISS DU in his welcome address briefed about the importance and relevance of the six innovative schools at the University. These Schools are working relentlessly on key areas of indigenous culture, language, technology, knowledge system and medicinal plants. Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar introduced the topic. “KISS DU is a university of innovation standing on the pillars of indigenous knowledge system. The University has created a niche for itself in the field of comparative language and literature through its research activities”, he said.
The virtual meet was followed by a question and answer session. The webinar was organized and moderated by the collective efforts of the faculty members of the Department of Odia, School of Language and Literature, KISS DU.