‘Kandasurindu Gee Ranga Pooja’, a joint cultural program comprising a mixture of two ethnicities in Sri Lanka was held on 29 December 2016 at the Kataragama sacred premises. The event elaborated the divine beliefs of gods in Sri Lankan culture. The University of Visual and Performing Arts (UVPA) and Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies (SVIAS), Eastern University of Sri Lanka performed jointly to make it a memorable program, with eye-catching items.
The “Kandasurindu Gee Ranga Pooja” cultural program was a brainchild of the Vice Chancellor of the UVPA, Prof Ariyaratne Kaluarachchi. The guidance of senior Prof Mudiyanse Dissanayake, Dean, Faculty of Dance & Drama and Prof. Kolitha Bhanu Dissanayake, Dean, Faculty of Music, and the support of academic and non-academic staff of the University paved the way to make the event a success. The program was organized by the UVPA in 2015 in the Kataragama sacred premises. Dr. S. Jayashankar, Director, SVIAS extended his support to organize the program with talented undergraduates of SVIAS. The contribution of the academic staff of SVIAS was effective and admirable.
With the blessings of the gods and the wishes of the entire community for the good deed, the UVPA was able to organize “Kandasurindu Gee Ranga Pooja” - the joint-cultural program in collaboration with SVIAS. The purpose of this event is to improve multi-ethnic harmony, solidarity and cultural interaction among the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities.
i. To improve multi-ethnic harmony and solidarity among the university community. The creation of a friendly environment among the different ethnicities in the university in the spheres pertaining to working, learning and performance is of utmost importance. Thus, organizing such programs creates a friendly environment and promote equality among the ethnicities. Further, they attempt to understand and respect the values of other cultures, traditions and religions. Working, learning and performing together with Muslim, Tamil and Sinhala students, lecturers and other university staff would enable to develop the exposure of multi disciplinary art forms, traditions, cultures and work norms among the university community, which in turn would pave the way to disseminate knowledge.
ii. To create awareness among the universities and society, on the traditional art forms of the multi-cultures, and develop affability by promoting and exhibiting their traditional art forms
In the dynamic world, the interest in traditional art and appreciation of their values are gradually declining. It is the duty of the universities to engage in these fields to promote traditional Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim dance, drama, music and visual arts, locally and internationally. Creating awareness and the environment to understand and practise these art forms among the undergraduates and perform to the public, is important.
iii. To identify and preserve traditional Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim art forms to posterity and display the need for a common society that respect these art forms.
Universities producing graduate and postgraduate scholars in fields of performing and visual arts, and preserving traditional art forms is a responsibility of these universities, to address the contemporary need. Therefore, the proposed multi-cultural art festival would create awareness on traditional art forms among the society which will enhance its importance to the country.
As advisory body, the chief incumbent of Kataragama Kiriwehera, Rev. Kobawaka Dhaminda Thera, Sri Abenawaramadhipathi Kapugama SaranaThissa Nayaka Thera, Basnayake Nilame D.J. Kumarage and the chief priest Somipala T. Rathnayake provided valuable inputs to the event, while senior Prof. Mohan de Silva, Chairman, University Grants Commission too graced the occasion. Senior Prof. Sampath Amarathunga, Vice Chancellor, University of Sri Jayawardenepura and Rear Admiral Jagath Ranasinghe of General Sir John Kothalawala Defense University, participated as distinguished guests.