Studies in the past reveal that India has always been described as the ‘melting pot’ of races and cultures. Myriads of cultures and the heterogeneous mosaics of human affairs make it a unique country to live in. Oldest cultures are either dying or exterminated. Tribal, indigenous, primitive, aboriginal and native culture falls in this category. Indigenous peoples, also known in some regions as First Peoples, First Nations, Aboriginal Peoples, Native Peoples or Autochthonous Peoples, are ethnic groups that are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently. This topic is close to the objectives of KISS Deemed to be University and wears an interdisciplinary blanket embracing the issues of indigenous culture with focus on diversity and cultural commonalities.

Speaking at a webinar organized by KISS on this important subject,  Prof. Prakash Chandra Pattanaik, Department of Modern Indian Languages and Literary Studies, University of Delhi said, “Culture is acquired not learnt. We know community life only when we stay in a community. The size of the community and work pattern may be small but the cultural elements remain.” Dr. Debashis Patra, Associate Professor, Fakir Mohan University appreciated the title of the topic and opined that culture is the key to research in the indigenous community. In his deliberation, he touched key points like gender and social status, indigenous food and indigenous medicines, family construction and indigenous nomenclature.

Earlier, Prof. Sasmita Samanta, Vice-Chancellor In-charge, KISS-DU in spoke about the importance of community leadership especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Fellow feeling, humanism, good judiciary system, participatory system, well-developed system of mutual respect multiply the strengths of the community”, she stated. Prof. Harekrishna Satapathy, Advisor, KISS-DU in his speech reflected on the highpoints of the eminent speakers and elaborated the concept of culture by referring to Vedas and mutual feeling of commonality.

Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU in his concluding remarks said, “This topic is very relevant for KISS and KISS-DU as it is in sync with the objectives of the organization. Language is an integral part of culture and we at KISS try to retain the tribal languages and culture through mother-tongue based education. We stick to their language so that the students do not feel alienated and strive to create a platform enabling them to talk about their strengths.” The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Chittaranjan Bhoi, Vice-Principal, KISS.

The webinar was organized by Dr. Rashmita Tripathy and moderated by Ms. Disha Bhatt, Faculty, KISS-DU.