Ananda College OBA UK celebrate Sinhala New Year
Published: 18 Apr 2013
It was another successful Sinhala New Year celebration organised by the Old Boys Association of Ananda College in the UK, adding to its already existing list of events that had been held consecutively in the month of April for the last 17years.
The OBA which celebrated its 30 years existence in the UK just last year is renowned for being the only Past Pupil Association to hold a Sinhala New Year Event in the UK. The OBA has a quite a long line of membership ranging from young and old whilst retaining all the trappings of a fully-fledged traditional Association. And as usual this year, the event took place at its customary location at Feltham Assembley Hall with the help and participation of its members and their friends and family. The event which was compered by Dakshina Bodhinayake and Lahiru Kokuhennadige began with the religious moment that has always been a mandatory part of the Ananda New Year Celebrations; observing of five precepts and the chanting of Pirith by the Head Monk of London Buddhist Vihara and the Chief Sanga Nayaka of Great Britain, Most Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala who was joined by resident monk Ven. Konwewa Ariyarathna. In addition to the President’s speech by Mr. Jay Edirappuli, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK His Excellency Dr.Christopher Nonis also addressed the crowd reflecting not just only as Anandians but as proud Sri Lankan’s positively helping to change the reputation of the country and its future and the impact of Sri Lankan contribution towards the global market.
The event comprised an exhibition of talents not only limited to the Ananda College Old Boys but also to their friends and their children, making a quite a panoply of entertainment for those who eagerly attended the function. After the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the current and the past Presidents of the OBA, the event began to unfold with an exciting line up of items drawing huge applauses from the audience. It might not have had the actual cukoobird’s singing and the fragrance of newly ripe fruits filling the air but it certainly had the sound of Raban, the children’s laughter and the singing and dancing which illustrated traditional games and practice of old Sinhalese customs in their most elaborate and colourful ways. And in addition to that oil cakes and milk rice with other traditional sweets laid on tables and everyone attired in their freshly colourful clothes portrayed on the day to tell the traditional signs of a dawn of Sinhala New Year which surely left a hint of nostalgia among all those who attended the event.
A considerable crowd had gathered for the event predominantly attended by friends and families of Anandians with tickets having been sold through personal contacts and internal networking. The colourful dances and songs conducted by many old Anandians' children provided a traditional family-friendly atmosphere that not only encouraged harmony amongst children and adults but also added to the spectacle of the children’s games and fancy dress parade. The ever popular comedy sketch “Pubilic Day” written and acted by old Anandians and their friends which was based on the satirical version of modern-day Sri Lankan politics, was the highlight of the occasion, bringing the audience to hysterical laughter. Subsequent to Avurudu Kumari and Kumaraya competition, the usual American auction of an Avurudu hamper and a Raffle Draw were done. The event drew to a close after one of the Past President s of the OBA Harshaka Kannangara gave the vote of thanks which was followed by the rousing renditions of the school song and the Sri Lankan national anthem. It was certainly a day of fun and laughter for old Anandians and their friends and families too, all coming together and promoting harmony and unity amongst each other and celebrating one of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated cultural events.