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Living & Travel

Fri09212018

Last update19:08:45 UTC 2018


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An Island with more space and big dreams: Hambantota 2018

COM 1177 copyCommonwealth Games is one of the most visible and vibrant events of Commonwealth Nations, an intergovernmental organization that operates within a common framework to achieve shared goals of democracy and development. The world’s large and small, rich and poor countries that are home to two billion people of all faiths and ethnicities constitute the Commonwealth. The member states spread across six continents and oceans: Africa (19), Asia (8), the Americas (2), the Caribbean (12), Europe (3) and the South Pacific (10). The origin of Commonwealth games seems to go back to 1891 since the idea about it was first mooted by Reverend J. Astley in his article written for the magazine, ‘Great Britain’ suggesting “that a festival combining sporting, military and literary events… would draw closer the ties and increase the goodwill and understanding of the Empire”. Inspiration of this suggestion resulted in the first recorded games between the athletes of the empire held in 1911 which was known as the Festival of Empire. The first British Empire game was held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada. Since then the world witnessed 20 versions of Commonwealth Games yet circulating the position of the host state among a few countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom. The next version will be held in Scotland in 2014. Sri Lanka with the peaceful environs now prevail in the Island after three decades of war is competing with Australia to be the host state of 2018 Commonwealth games and Hambanthota, a fast developing city in Sri Lanka has been named as the host city against Gold Coast in Australia.  

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DRUMS OF SRI LANKA

drums.pic1.8.9Sri Lanka has had many types of Drums in use from ancient times and reference to these is found in the classical literature, i.e. Pujawaliya, Thupawansaya and Dalada Siritha. Although around thirty three types of drums are mentioned, today one could find only about ten and the rest are confined only to names.

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The Green Heritage: Flora of Sri Lanka

manel.pic1.5.9Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean lays claim to eight of the current 911 UNESCO World Heritage Sites out of which two are endowed owing to rich biological diversity.  Biological diversity or Biodiversity in simple terms is the variation of living beings including plants, animals and micro-organisms together with the variation exhibited by the non-living environment and genetic variation. Sri Lanka, even though claims for a relatively small land extent of 65,610 sq km, the geographical terrain, altitude and the climate of the islands display an ample variety that has resulted a extensive array in diversity, which has given rise to different floristic regions. Considering the topography of the country, three distinct peneplains are discernible. The lowest of these, the flat lowland peneplain covering about 75 percent of the land and is referred to as the `Low country' with the altitude rising from sea level to 300 m. Towards the south central parts of the country, the land rises steeply on all sides and the second peneplain, the `Mid country' is identifiable from 300m to 1,000 m.  Further inland the land rises very steeply to form the south central mountain massif with several plateaus, which is the third peneplain or `Up country' (1,000 m - 2,500 m). The western, southern and western slopes of the central hills is fed by the southwest monsoons bringing ample rain from May to July  and is referred to as the wet-zone while the northern and eastern regions that is fed by the north-east monsoon from December to January with a lesser amount is referred to as the dry-zone. Throughout these different zones one can see plants specially adapted to each set of circumstances, giving rise to a rich floral assemblage.

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Elephants in Sri Lankan Culture

elephant.pic1.5.9A man hangs twig on a tree; his face is all but reverence for Pullayar. Then he cautiously treads his way on to the jungle path into a distant village or to the dreaded jungle itself, infested with wild beasts, including the much-feared big animal, the elephant. I believe that the reverence for elephant headed Pullayar has a direct link with the fear psyche of these villagers for elephants. To them Pullayar or the Hindu God Ganesh is not only the God of wisdom but their protector in the wild. Statues of God Ganesh, which is a common sight in many parts of North Eastern plain of Sri Lanka, are venerated by both Hindus and Buddhists.

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Festivities and Games associated with the Sinhala and Hindu New Year

festival.pic5.5.9During the Sinhala and Hindu New Year when the performance of various activities associated with auspicious times have been successfully concluded, it is time for festivities and games. Even in the matter of entertainment hoary tradition plays a vital role. As such there are traditional games that are associated with this national event. They are both indoor and outdoor games and sports.

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“Sigiriya - a “must see” treasure in anyone’s lifetime”

sigiri.pic1.5.9”This is a powerful spiritual experience, being challenged both by the powerful imagery of the rock and the physical challenge of climbing to the top of the world where the soul of Sri Lanka can be felt”.

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Glory of Buddhism

buddha.pic4.5.9By Kala Keerthi Edwin Ariyadasa.

Conventionally, the Buddhist era is calculated from the day, the Supremely Enlightened Buddha passed away in the Great Demise (Parinibbāna). In terms of that tradition, 2011 marks the 2555th year of the Buddhist Era. Ascetic Siddhārtha attained Supreme Enlightenment and became the Buddha, forty five years prior to his passing away. This way, the attainment of Enlightenment took place exactly 2600 (2555 + 45) years ago. In terms of that, today, we celebrate the 2600th Anniversary of the attainment of Enlightenment – a unique spiritual moment in the whole of human history. As all right - thinking people, uphold spiritual achievement, the 2600th anniversary of the Attainment of Enlightenment is a singularly significant event for the whole of mankind. The achievement of Supreme Enlightenment is a sacred heritage for the totality of humanity – as all men and women are the beneficiaries of that spiritual triumph.

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Living and Travel


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