The pearl of the Indian Ocean

Madushanka Ferdinando, Isuru Jayaweera and Shashikala Pettagan. Photo: Sharnae Hope.

A smiling sun all year round, golden beaches, and ancient cities, Sri Lanka encompasses colour and diversity.

However, if you don’t have a wad of cash tucked away in your back pocket to visit this elegant island, Living in Harmony’s cultural event is the one for you.

This month’s Multicultural Tauranga feature country is the teardrop-shaped island Sri Lanka, which prides itself on an artistic lifestyle of traditional forms of art, dance and music, touching hearts with great hospitality and a vast history.

Organiser Shashikala Pettagan says the theme for the Sri Lankan evening is going to be based around Avurudu, which is the Sri Lanka New Year.

“Usually, Sinhala and Hindu New Year, Avurudu, falls on April 13 and 14, symbolising the ending of the old year, and the beginning of the New Year,” says Shashikala.

“The first signs of spring remind Sri Lankans that it’s time for a spectrum of festivities, which encompass rhythmic beats on the rabana [a one-sided traditional drum], sweet delicacies, and the melodies of the koel, a stringed instrument used to sing in the New Year.”

The event will start with a brief introduction to the culture and its values, followed by dancing and singing items, traditional New Year games, and an introduction to some Sri Lankan cuisine and artefacts.

“Sri Lankan culture includes a lot of customs and rituals, which date back to more than 2000 years, which were handed down from generation to generation.

“The Sri Lankan way of life is very simple and filled with humility and happiness. This is one of the reasons why Sri Lankans appreciate the simple things in life such as nature.”

The Living in Harmony Sri Lanka evening will be held on July 17 from 7-9pm at the Historic Village on 17th Avenue.