Thursday, April 12, 2007

Suba Aluth Avuruddhak Wewa

Its great to wake up these days with the sweet melody of the "koha" singing by your window for he is the messenger who tells us all that the traditional Sinhalese and Tamil New Year is nigh.

According to the Sri Lankan culture the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year is celebrated during the month of April. Unlike the western New Year which is celebrated at the end of the calendar year on 31st of December, the Sinhala and Tamil New year is governed by astrology. This is the time according to astrology, when the sun moves from the House of Pisces (Meena Rashiya) to the house of Aries (Mesha Rashiya). It is also the season when harvesting ends, and for agricultural communities it’s a double celebration. It is basically a time for families to get together, say goodbye to the old year and greet the dawn of a new one in hopes that it will be more prosperous and joyous than the last one.

Check out Wikipedia for more details

Unfortunately in our family, we don’t follow strict traditions and rituals associated with the New Year. Main reason is that we are Christians and our ancestors were brought up and educated in the beliefs and values of the invaders. They have forgotten the traditional ways. On the other hand I don’t even follow Christian rituals either, either way I’m lost forever. Even if you don’t follow the astrological traditions, rituals and auspicious times, it’s a time we can all celebrate. It is a new beginning, a fresh start of the new and saying good bye to the old. For Buddhists it’s similar to Christmas or Thanksgiving. It’s a time for family.

The way I see it the New Year on 31st December has become a worldwide celebrations due to globalization. It’s a one big happy family and we have to stick to standard timekeeping. You can’t have one part of the world saying its 2007 while another one is saying its 1800 or something. Can you just imagine the havoc it would cause for global trading? Even though everyone celebrates the December New Year, people still celebrate their traditional New Years in grand style. These celebrations are necessary to keep the traditional cultures going, otherwise we’ll all be like clones.

More on Chinese New Year

with the season comes the shopping sprees. These days it's a menace to go on the streets, for they are chocker blocked with people. All are going on shopping sprees, buying new stuff, gifts for family and friends or just something to make your day, it's just plain mad shopping. The shops are like mad houses and sometimes you have to wait in queues to get into them. Once inside it’s another battle to actually see the merchandise and get what you want. That is why I never go shopping during the holiday season, no matter how much discounts I get. The situation is worsened by the fact that there is no space in our cities. Narrow pavements are taken over by hawkers, who build their temporary shop to the whole width of the pavement. There is no more space to walk and pedestrians are forced to walk on the road, with the threat of being run over by a vehicle. An all around pain in the neck.

In one hand we can’t put the blame wholly on these people either, because this is their livelihood and they are also trying to feed their families. The best solution is to build some kind of shopping mall, not a fancy one, but something low cost and give these people shop space for free. Then they’ll have a permanent place to sell their ware without being a nuisance to pedestrians. It’ll be convenient for the shoppers also, without having to walk on the roads, facing such hazards as dust, rain, mud splashes from vehicles and so on. They can also do their shopping in absolute comfort. I know it’s a totally utopian city that’ll never come about, but it’s nice to dream.

Well anyway, wish you all a

Happy and Prosperous New Year

1 comment:

Outstander said...

Esema Wewa!!!!!
(Quite Useful Info as well)