Thursday, April 14, 2011

Expanding the Sinhala and Tamil New Year even further - part 2

There were some more thoughts and encouraging updates after our first article on new year. Initially I tried appending them to the old post itself but realised it would make it longer and these batter have a separate short post instead. So here we go :

1) Seems like we are not alone in our line of thinking. Mt Lavinea hotel has this to say. "This is a celebration – one of a kind held in great reverence in Sri Lanka alone. Sinhala and Tamil New Year is an annual event that stimulates society, enlivens the nation and fosters national consciousness in Sri Lanka. The festival is celebrated mainly by the Buddhists and the Hindus. Now Christians too participate in New Year celebrations as this highlights the authentic customs that are synonymous to the event rather than the religious attributes and thus it has become almost a nation-wide festival" more

2) If all Sinahalese and Tamils (including Christians), are celebrating this event, then it becomes a national festival, one without no religious attributes. If it is a non-religious national festival, then our Muslim brothers and sisters too can join in I would say!

3) In our childhood days we used to enjoy a long vacation in April. At leas 4 weeks. That allowed us to visit relatives, celebrate new year in much more relaxed manner and of course to play more! New year games started 2-3 days before the new year day and continued even after the new year for 2-3 more days then.

Nowadays, sadly school holiday period has shrunk from year to year. (This time it is only 2 weeks!) If we want to preserve our culture in future generations, we should consider allowing our children to participate more freely in April festivals and follow traditions. Take an additional week from August holidays if needed but leave April school holidays for full 4 weeks!

What do you think ?