Today we celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil New Year (‘Awrudu’) New Zealand style at the Lower Hutt Town Hall. The event was put together by the United Sri Lanka Association who put together a cultural show explaining the traditional practices of the new year time in Sri Lanka fully equipped with the ceremonial lighting of the oil lamp, the boiling/overflowing of the milk, traditional dances, authentic new year food, and of course ‘the traditional awrudu games’.
It was really interesting for me because it was the first time I have been to one of these functions since coming back from my 4 year cultural infusion in Sri Lanka. I think a lot of people were impressed with my Sinhalese, even thought i’m still not that well understood back on the Island! Also it was interesting today because I could relate to some of these practices in a different context! – such as the ‘Kotapora’ (a game where you basically have a pillow fight – it was lots of fun this afternoon, but it doesn’t really compare to the real thing where you are sitting on a coconut log over a muddy tank! see http://bishansworld.posterous.com/so-whats-this-utseveya-all-about-really for last year’s session in the outback of North Central Province!)
I really liked today’s event because it had such a good community spirit, it was well organised and appreciated by all. There’s nothing like getting a whole bunch of people together from all age groups to see a show, share some food and have a bit of fun and games! The Tug-o-war competition was a real winner!!
Well done everyone – and Suba Aluth Awrudak Weva!