In celebration of International Human Solidarity Day, the Abhinav Bindra Foundation (ABF) hosted a unique cultural exchange through sport and tradition under the Olympic Values Education Programme in Odisha and Assam.
The day was dedicated to embracing the values of Unity in Diversity, a core principle that resonates deeply with the values of Olympics. Children in Assam engaged in 'Puchi Khela', an artistic and competitive game dance from Odisha. This game involves a group of children squatting and stretching their feet to the rhythm of songs, competing to outshine each other.
Puchi Khela is a cultural expression deeply rooted in the social fabric of Odisha. This game represents a form of artistic expression that blends physical activity with cultural storytelling. The absence of specific choreography or musical instruments signifies the importance of improvisation and community participation in Odisha culture. The game serves not only as a form of entertainment but also as a medium for social interaction and the cultivation of competitive spirit within a communal setting. It reflects the societal emphasis on community, coordination, and the celebration of local traditions.
Meanwhile, in Odisha, the children experienced 'Dhop Khel', a traditional Assamese ball game. This game, requiring speed, stamina, and acrobatics, is played by two teams in a large field, where players aim to outmanoeuvre their opponents using a ball. It's an exciting test of physical prowess and strategy.
Dhop Khel holds a special place in the history and culture of Assam. Dhop Khel for the Assamese culture is a reflection of the community's values and social structures. The game's requirement for team coordination and individual skill echoes the societal values of cooperation, unity, and physical fitness. It also serves as a celebration of the physical prowess and cultural heritage of the Assamese people.
By engaging in these traditional games, children from both states not only had fun but also developed a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other's cultures. In line with the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect, these young ones bridged cultural divides and advocated unity through the universal language of play and sports.