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[Culture & Arts]

Reflections on Karunaratne Abeysekera



Karunaratne Abeysekera

REFLECTIONS: A musical concert, "Sandawata Rantaru" will be staged at the BMICH on the September 30 to commemorate Karunaratne Abeysekera, popular announcer and lyricist.

This concert will be organized by the OBU of Nalanda College which is the alma mater of Abeysekera.

"During the concert, 25 songs written by Karunaratne Abesekera will be sung by 30 popular artists," said. Hemantha Prematillake Principal of Nalanda College and Chairman of the OBU.

Mr. Prematillake said this concert has been organised to honour a reputed old Nalandian who was a dynamic and popular radio announcer popularly known as "Karu Aiya" who also rendered an incomparable service to the field of music in Sri Lanka.

"Karunaratne Abeysekera invented a new linguistic vocabulary not only for the art of announcing and songs of literature but for wider use. He too maintained a cordial relationship with his alma mater from the day he left the school right upto his demise," the Principal said.

"We are organizing this concert not merely for he was an old Nalandian but he is an old boy who rendered a yeoman unite to the songs of literature. Our first test cricket captain Bandula Warnapura is also an old Nalandian so is. His excellency the President of Sri Lanka. We decided to honour Karu Aiya who is also a renowned Nalandian," said Major General Sheaman Kulatunga, Deputy Chief of Staff Sri Lanka Army and Vice President of OBU Nalanda.

Vocalist Latha Walpola who said in that it is appreciable that such a concert has been organized by the Nalanda College to reflect on the exemplary life of Karunaratne Abeysekera.

She said that she has sung about 550 songs for the films and more than half of them have been written by Karu Aiya.

Daya Abeysekera, brother of Karunaratne Abeysekera said that Henry Jayasena, Stanley Jayasinghe, Gunadasa Amarasekera and Ridgeway Thilakaratne are his contemporaries at Nalanda. All of them have reached heights in one field or the other.

"I remember Karu Aiya singing Virudu which added colour to an Ananda-Nalanda big match. He was known for his inimitable style of Virudu. He was a poet and a member of "Aganuwara Tharuna Kavi Samajaya."

His world was Nalanda College and the Broadcasting Corporation and nothing else. The following vocalists will sing songs of Karunaratne Abeysekera at the musical concert of "Sandawata Ran Taru".

Nanda Malini, Latha Walpola, Victor Ratnayake, Sanath Nandasiri, Malkanthi Nandasiri, Priya Sooriyasena, Edward Jayakody, Dhanapala Udawatte, Ishak Beg (songs of Mohideen Beg), Priyankara Perera (songs of J. A. Milton Perera), Ranil Mallawarachchi (songs of Milton Mallawarachchi), Susil Fernando (songs of M. S. Fernando), Priyantha Fernando (songs of C. T. Fernando), Sisira Senaratne, Indrani Wijebandara, Chandrani Gunawardena, Sujatha Attanayake, Ranjani Perera, Mohan Raj, Indrani Perera, Dayaratne Ranatunga, Amara Ranatunga, Narada Dissasekera, Haroon Lantra, H. R. Jothipala's songs (Thilakasiri Fernando) and other singers.

In this media conference, the following personalities also shared their views. Deleepa Abeysekera, son of Karunaratne Abeysekera, Kingsley Ratnayake, Director Sirasa Programmes, Premasiri Nanayakkara, Secretary Nalanda OBU, Dr. Athula Gamage, Chief Organizer, Nalanda OBU, D. U. Amarasinghe Tressurer, Indrani Abeysekera, beloved wife of Karunaratne Abeysekera who graced the occasion was among the other large member participants at this most fitting event.


The splendour of Tamil culture and its endurance

SPLENDOUR: Jaffna, a land rich in culture and a salubrious milieu is what today called the Land of war. There are very few revelations on the cultural beauty of this land. There are more to discover and explore.

Even though this culture which is bound by many traditions, customs and rituals is abided by the indigenous inhabitants of the land, they are ignorant of the actual meanings and purpose of following these rituals.

The culture which was brought from the Dravidian culture of southern India is still being followed but whether everybody understands their deep underlying meanings is still a question. The customs are still being sustained because it is a must and a tradition.

The king, who was captivated by the melancholic music and the moving performance of the famous lutist "yalpadi", rewarded him a land. It was the hard work of this lutist that developed the barren land to a cultivatable land. Later, this lutist went and brought his friends and relatives from India to settle. The name "Yalpanam" comes from the words "yal" which is the lute and "yalpanam" means the land of lutists.

Festivals

The year begins with the celebration of "Thai Pongal" to express the gratitude to the Sun God for a prosperous harvest and to bid farewell to the months of autumn. The rice from the harvest is cooked with the joyous cry "pongalo pongal" at the time of its boiling and offered to the God to bless with a flourishing future.

This unique festival pays tribute to the Sun god, "the provider of energy". The floor is cleaned with cow dung mixed with water. On the dry floor a beautiful Rangoli or "kolam" is drawn near which the earthen pot is placed to cook the harvested rice. Sugar canes are used to decorate around the earthen pot. The boiled rice is first offered to the god and then shared among the relatives and the neighbours.

The following day is called the "mattu pongal" which is celebrated to thank the cow. In the early days when technology wasn't developed, cows were used to plough fields which used to be an immense help to the farmers. In return to this, farmers felicitate the cows on this day.

Sivarathiri which means Shiva's night is a long night with a day long fast devoted to eulogize and attest his power as superior and eternal after a dispute between his sub-ordinates Brahma and Vishnu as to who was the superior among the two. The Tamil New Year begins in the month of April when Sun enters the Zodiac of Aries after the vernal Nor.

Following a head bath early in the morning, people go to temples to get the blessings of the Almighty wearing new clothes. The first meal for the year, usually milk rice is cooked and shared among relatives and neighbours. A practice called kaiveshesham is given by the head of the family to mostly children for luck to flourish throughout year.

In order to guard and protect her and her living quarters, Parvati the beloved spouse of Lord Siva created Lord Ganesha. This day is celebrated as Vinayagar Sathurthi. After a pooja, Kolukaddai, a sweet cake made up of jaggery, coconut, green gram and flour are offered to th e clay figure of Lord Ganesha.

Navarathiri, Nine nights is celebrated to extol the three Goddesses, Thurga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The gods of energy are worshipped by fasting and feasting during these nine nights. First three days are devoted to Thurga the goddess of power and energy, the second three days are dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and Saraswathi, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom is worshipped on the last three days.

Following these nine auspicious nights, on the tenth day, Vijaya dasami is celebrated which is denoted as "the day of victory". This is chosen as the ideal day to commence new ventures in learning whether it is fine arts or any other studies for successful accomplishments.

Deepavali, the festival of lights is celebrated to highlight the victory of good over the evil or light over the darkness. Lord Vishnu, the preserver of earth, takes the form of Narasiman to destroy Narahasuran, a ruthless king.

The king realizing his blunder orders the people to celebrate the day of his death which is until now celebrated as Deepavali.Sooran Pore, is the day when lord Murugan destroys Suran who used his invincible powers and his gift of immortality for his ruthless acts. Murugan who was created by Lord Shiva with all supreme powers to raze

the evil, destroys Suran. Suran takes the form of a rooster and a peacock to serve Murugan after his extermination. This titanic battle between Murugan and Suran is dramatized in all the temples on the 6th day of the fast and the victorious idol of Murugan is carried back jubilantly into the temple.

A ten day long festival is celebrated between the months of December-January called Thiruvembavai to worship and praise Lord Shiva. The famous Thiruvasaham, an anthology of hymns written by the great author and Saint Mannikavasagar is choired verse by verse in all the temples during these ten days.


Creative, capturing, and meaningful



Rahul Rajendren

Sarasi Iresha Manamperi

Ganithri Navoda
Wickramasinghe

Pradeepa Indunil Rajakaruna

COMPETITION: Independent thinking is essential for art. Developing the intellectual mind should be encouraged at an early age. Books open up a world of fantasy, interaction, knowledge and creativity, weaving diversity into the minds of children. The Children's Creative Writing Competition, held in April, organized by Room to Read Sri Lanka, is a program targeted at increasing the variety and quality of trilingual children's story books.

"Our competition was given free publicity through national papers as well as electronic media. We received nearly 2,000 entries from school children all over the island. The Book Development Committee, made up of seven members including Professor J.B. Dissanayake and Sybil Wettasinghe, chose the winning entries," said H.P. Mahesh Pathirathna, the Program Associate of Room to Read Sri Lanka.

Rahul Rajendren, 15 of Highland College, Hatton, won first place for the children's story he wrote in the Tamil medium. Titled "Forever young sapu", this story encourages its readers to protect their natural environment.

Sarasi Iresha Manamperi, 10, won first place for her story "Spiky save the Day", written in the Sinhalese medium. This story carries the theme that one should not judge others on their appearance. Sarasi is a student of Swarnapali Balika Vidyalaya, Anuradapura.

Two winners were chosen for first place in the category for stories in the English medium. They are Pradeepa Indunil Rajakaruna, 15 of Girls High school, Kandy, and Ganithri Navoda Wickramasinghe, 13 of Musaeus College, Colombo. Pradeepa's story, "Baby fish goes to school", is based on friendship and kindness while Ganithri's "A message from the sun" is about protecting mother nature.

The winners were given a certificate, a cash prize and a plaque whereas their school libraries received a donation of 200 books. Eight additional participants received merit certificates along with a school bag and books as prizes.

"We looked for creativity, humour and a meaningful social message when we judged the stories. Facts like a word limit of no more than four hundred words and the entries being suitable for children between five to ten years were also considered. We are hoping to publish the winning entries around mid October. Once published, the books will be given to government schools for free," said Pathirathna.

Commenting on the role that Room to Read had played on behalf of providing education for underprivileged children in developing countries, Pathirathna said that this program had been focusing on a number of countries besides Sri Lanka.

Currently, they have been involved with India, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Vietnam in a variety of program areas: School Room, Reading Room, Room to Grow, Computer and Language Room. Room to Read Sri Lanka encourages young writers to send in their work for illustration and publication as their motto is "World change starts with educated children."


Aspiration call for youth

Aspirations Youth Club is a unique network of young dynamic leaders which draws resources, funds, and talent from over 90 prestigious universities world over.

Aspirations Education launched the Aspirations Youth Club on August 11 at the Adyapana exhibition held at BMICH. Response of youth towards the opportunities the club offered was great. The club was pioneered by Deepamala Abeysekera, Nadeen Kumarasinghe and Sasith Bambaradeniya under the vision and guidance of Ajith Abeysekera.

The fundraiser for this event was the Beach Rugby Carnival at Mount Lavinia Beach, on September 3. This was an entertaining event where 14 Teams participated and Kings Youth won the Championship.

There is no hierarchy in the club and your ideas will take precedence. Call Nadeen on 0785257660 or register on line at www. aspirations.egu.lk.


Think about us

Anushka

This is not a traditional play which consists a beginning, mid, or an end. Almost all the characters combines with the experience personally audience had under gone. The most attractive feature of the play is that you meet a character runs throughout the drama who does not respond for any happenings .

Who is he?

"Think About Us" stage play directed by M. Safeer and Udeni Alwis, will go on boards of "Tower Hall Theatre" at 07:00 p.m. on September 20.


Oliver at Russian Centre

Oliver - winner of six academy awards including Best Picture in 1968 will be screened at the Russian Centre in Colombo on September 30 at 5.00 p.m.

Young Oliver (Mark Lester) is an orphan who escapes the cheerless life of the workhouse and takes to the streets of 19th Century London. He is immediately taken in by a band of street urchins, headed by the lovable villain Fagin (Ron Moody) his fiendish henchman Bill Sikes

(Oliver Reed) and his loyal apprentice the Artful Dodger (Jack Wild). Through his education in the fine points of pick-pocketing. Oliver makes away with an unexpected treasure, a home and a family of his own.

Let Oliver steal your heart. Be at the Russian Centre to view Oliver which includes songs such favourites as "Consider Yourself", "Where is love" and "As Long as He Needs Me," starring Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe, Shani Wallis and Mark Lester as Oliver.

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