First Transgender Festival in India
Author: Ninette Murk
Friday 8th of February 2019 05:25:33 PM
Have you guys heard about the the first cultural festival in Odisha, India?
Let me tell you about it... as you may know, India is famous because of their Bollywood movies, where there’s a lot of of singing and dancing going on. The Odisha festival is a transgender festival that's held in Odisha, a small city of India, where not only singing and dancing was happening- it's also a place where Indian transgenders could seize their freedom. 
According to reports, “Odisha is counted as one of the states with a higher transgender population.” But sadly, many transgendered people in Odisha earned their livelihood by begging, on toll booths and trains and sometimes by engaging in sex work. 

Women who identify as transgender or hijra, were changing into their stylish best for this festival, as it was a celebration of them being visible. This festival was after all designed for them. 

The transgender cultural festival is organised by Anwesha Kala Kendra, a cultural institution founded in 1999 by 65-year old Usha Rani Mahapatra, that runs various dance and performing arts classes in the town. It organises cultural festivals every year and this time they decided to dedicate the festival to the third gender in the country. 

I hope this festival makes people out there more respectful towards each other, no matter what gender they are, because we all deserve to be respected.

Photo: VICE

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