The Odisha Society of Americas (OSA) held its 50th Annual Convention in Harrah’s Atlantic City, New Jersey, July 4-7, 2019.
The Golden Jubilee Convention attracted attendees from around the globe to Atlantic City to reminisce OSA’s brilliant past, celebrate achievements of its members, and envision the future of the organization in the hands of the next generation of Odias, according to a press release.
The event became the largest gathering of Odias to date with Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia as the Chief Guest.
More than 2000 attendees drawn from 18 chapters covering the U.S., Canada, and territories, international branches hailing every continent (except Antarctica) arrived in Atlantic City to join in the festivities.
This Golden Jubilee event featured exclusive cultural programs, enlightening intellectual discourse spanning the fields of culture, education, science, technology, religion, medicine, entrepreneurship – with artists and luminaries from Odisha and North America.
The cultural segment presented performances by artists of international fame, emerging local youths, depicting every form of dance, music, art, crafts reflecting the cultural heritage of Odisha. Mouthwatering Odia delicacies were served. Well known performers presented eclectic Odishi dance.
The convention team comprised of more than 200 volunteers who worked tirelessly for more than a year to execute this large event successfully.
The convention started on the auspicious day of Rath Yatra. Rath Puja was performed. The convention re-published all souvenirs from 1983 onwards in print and digital. It also created a video channel from historical media collections, and an OSA History documentary.
The convention held reunion of record number of schools and colleges. More than 500 children and adults participated in cultural events. The convention organized seminars in Odisha Development Forum, Women’s Forum, Seminars on healthcare and technology. A Youth event featured many engaging sessions including career development.
Uma Ballav Mishra, Convener, OSA, said in a statement: “We delivered memorable experience to our attendees at 50th convention. This event provided an opportunity of the lifetime to unite Odias across the world. We achieved our objective of inclusiveness. We delivered on our theme Bindu Bindu Misi Hue Sindhu (Many drops make ocean). ”
Lalatendu Mohanty, President (OSA National), said in a statement: “Everyone came, celebrated our culture and enjoyed our hospitality. We took this opportunity to honor our pioneers and engage our youth.”
Sribatsa Das, President (OSA NY/NJ Chapter) and Co-Convener, said in a statement: “We are touched by the outpouring of support from all corners. We built bridges for the next 50 years engaging our youth and the new arrivals. We sincerely thank our media partner ITV Gold who played a pivotal role in creating interest among our attendees. Further we appreciate its contribution towards Cyclone Fani related fund-raising effort.”
OSA (http://www.odishasociety.org) is one of the oldest Indian organization in North America. It was launched by a group of astute Odias in 1969 at MIT. They had the vision to create camaraderie among this Indian diaspora in the U.S. and Canada. Since their arrival, OSA members have not only made their mark in their adopted country in their chosen professions but also have reached out to their roots in Odisha and India to uplift the quality of lives there.