Dress & Food

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Dress & Food

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The village folk wear the traditional dress of dhoti and kurta and the women folk sarees. The working people put on shoulder a small piece of cloth called gamuchha, which is used for wiping one's body or tying it around the head as turban when necessary. Lungi is becoming popular with the younger people, but is used only as an informal dress. Boys wear shorts and shirts and girls, vests and frocks. The youth and the urban elites have mostly taken to the European sartorial fashion; shalwar and kameej has become a fashion with most urbanite girls. Simplicity is the criterion of dress and ornaments today. The old fashioned ornaments, which had their classic forms of beauty, have been discarded throughout by the women folk at the various levels of society. Sleek ornaments are very much in fashion now-a-days.

Cooked rice with dal and curry as side dishes is the common meal for all people. Even the tribal folk in the hilly regions who take millet and ragi as their staple food prefer a rice meal. From the 40's onward, especially in the urbanised areas some people have switched over to wheat in place of rice and take roti or chapati for dinner. The people of Orissa use both sun dried and par-boiled rice, the former especially   on festive occasions. There is also the widely prevalent practice of taking cooked rice soaked in water overnight, called pakhal, as an alternative to a warm rice meal. Numerous delicacies are made out of rice or rice powder in the form of payas or khiri when prepared with milk, or pitha, i.e. cakes and pastries either fried in ghee or oil, on steamed or baked with or without stuffing. Rice as a principal course can be cooled in a number of ways for special occasions; the most common preparations are kanika, which is cooked with ghee and sugar and khechudi, which is cooked with pulses.

Majority of the people in Orissa are non-vegetarian. The widows of the upper 'caste Hindus, some Brahmins and the devotees are by choice vegetarian. Between meat and fish, the latter is the commoner ingredient of the everyday non-vegetarian meal. The Orissan cuisine is marked by its original style of preparation. Delicious curries are prepared with different vegetables, or fish, meat and eggs by adding different masalas or condiments and cooking them in different styles. The typical erissan items offered in a common standard meal constitute, in addition to the principal course of rice and dal, the following bhaji (fry), bharta (mixed vegetable curry), besara/mahura (spiced curry), jhola (curry with gravy, vegetarian or non-vegetarian), ambila/sakara (sour or sour-and-sweet preparation) and of course, dessert in case of all good meals. Though dining table are in use in the eating houses and modern homes, it is quite customary to take ones meal seated on a mat (asana) or wooden seat (pidha) placed on the floor. Th: main course of rice or chapati is served on a plate, commonly made of bell-metal, and the other items are placed round it in bowls and dishes. Stainless steel and aluminum utensils are now being used increasingly Community feasts may be served on banana leaves or plates made of Sal leaves. Tea is the most common beverage. Chewing pall or betel with or without tobacco is a socially accepted practice. Poorer people smoke bidi in lieu ,of cigarettes. In the past many pan chewers used to carry the ingredients of pan the betel leaf, lime paste, catechu, arecaunt and a tiny cutter for the same, cloves, cardamom, etc.) in a small, 2-3 shelved cloth-made pouch called batoa, fancy models of which with radiant applique on them are displayed at the tourist counters.


Contributed By:

Late Prof.Bidhubhusan Das

Prof.Trilochan Mishra

Prof.Prabhat Nalini Das