KUK Kannada Rajyotsava 2021

Kannada Rajyotsava also known as the Karnataka formation Day is celebrated on 1st November every year. This was the day in 1956 when many regions that speak kannada were brought together to form the state of Karnataka. This was a result of state reorganisation act. Initially state of Mysore was formed and it was renamed as Karnataka in 1973. The kingdom of Mysore was one of the three largest princely state within India during the British rule. Upon Independence from Britain, Maharaja of Mysore Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar signed the instrument of accession when the territories of Mysore were then reconstituted into a state within the Union of India. 

In 1956, the government of India as a result of state reorganisation act, redrew the boundaries. As a result of this, Kannada speaking districts of Belagavi, Bijapur, Dharwar and North Canara were transferred from Bombay state to Mysore State. Bellary district was transferred from Andra State, South Canara was transferred from Madras state and Koppal, Raichur, Gulbarga and Bidar districts were transferred from Hyderabad state. Also the small Coorg state was merged becoming a district of Mysore state. Later in 1973 the state was renamed as Karnataka. 

Karnataka is the largest state in south India and sixth largest state in India. Celebration of Karnataka Rajyotsava is a special occasion for the state and entire state joyfully celebrate as though it is a religious festival. It is also special that Karnataka has its own flag used as an emblem of Kannada Culture. The flag is quite popular across the world wherever the Kannada speaking communities reside. For every Kannada Centric organisation, the Kannanda Flag is a special and quite sentimental and today it is a symbol of Kannada pride for every Kannada speaking individual across the globe. 

KannadigaruUK (KUK) has been celebrating Kannada Rajyotsava since 2005 and this year after a gap of nearly 2 years due to COVID pandemic, KUK is hosting a physical event to celebrate this special occasion in London, United Kingdom. This is the 16th Kannada Rajyotsava event hosted by KUK in the United Kingdom. 

The last physical event hosted by KUK was in the year 2019. That was KUK’s 15th Kannada Rajyotsava event. KUK in collaboration with Chirantana Academy, Davanagere hosted the event successfully. Thanks to Chirantana team, the Hall was fully decorated with Kannada flags, wonderful backdrops on the stage showcasing the cultural heritage of Karnataka and every bit of event had the Karnataka flavour. KUK also came out with its 15th year celebration magazine called “Snehayana” with 126 pages that covered entire journey of KUK over the last fifteen years. The magazine also featured various achievers from the Kannada diaspora. Although KUK could not recover the cost of printing and shipping the magazine through sponsorships or from donations, it was a great remarkable experience to collate the work done by the organisation.

The year 2020 was affected badly by the COVID 19 pandemic. After cancelling the Shivaji Suratkal Premier of Ramesh Aravind, there were no physical events happened in the year 2020. Continuous lockdowns by the UK government meant that the Rajyotsava in the year 2020 had to be a virtual event. For the first time, KUK came up with a unique virtual event called “KUK Got Talent” that focussed on identifying and recognising the talents across United Kingdom in multiple categories of singing, dancing suited for different age groups. The final was hosted on 8th November 2020 to remark the celebration of Kannada Rajyotsava attended by more than 200 participants on zoom. The winners were judged by the renowned artists like Ananya Bhat, Nandini Rao, Sangeetha Rajeev, Ganesh Desai and from the Chirantana team. Kannada Kali kids also participated in a unique competition that promoted speaking in Kannada. 

The preparation for this year’s Rajyotsava event is in full swing. For the first time after 2 years, KannadigaruUK committee has decided to host this event physically at Feltham, London. The venue Springwest Academy at Feltham can host up to 400 participants. Already close to 250 adults and 100+ children have booked their space to witness the 16th Rajyotsava event hosted by KUK. The event will start at 11AM with authentic festival Lunch followed by Cultural Activities and end with musical evening from Dr Shweta Hiremath, Lakshmi Hoysal and Harshitha three of the very talented singers residing in UK. One of the key highlights include Yakshagana from father and daughter duo Yogindra Maravathe and Sunidhi Maravathe! Keeping the COVID situation in mind, KUK expects each adult participant to be fully vaccinated and taken the lateral flow test a day prior to the event and sign a COVID self-declaration form at the registration. The committee also planning use a temperature monitor at the registration.  

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