Sri Lankan New Year Celebrations in Nottingham - UK
Published: 22 Apr 2013
Sri Lankans all across the midlands gathered to celebrate the Sinhala and Hindu New Year 2013 on the 13th of April at Bestwood Community Centre Nottingham. This was the inaugural major event organised by the Nottingham Shanthi Buddhist Vihara and Community Centre under the auspices of Ven.
Teldeniyaye Amitha Thero since its inception in February 2013. Despite the relatively short period of organisation and minimal publicity, the event was a tremendous success and a memorable one for the over 150 participants from across the region.
The afternoon session kicked off with several adrenaline fuelled traditional New Year games including ‘banis kaama’ (bun eating competition), ‘kanaa mutti’ (breaking the clay pot whilst blindfolded), three legged race, tug of war, and lime and spoon race. Participation levels were high amongst adults and children alike, and despite being fiercely competitive, a true community spirit reminiscent of New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka was evident throughout.
The ravenous ‘athletes’ were subsequently treated to a delectable spread of traditional New Year cuisine including ‘kiri bath’ (milk rice), ‘kokis’ (deep fried batter of flour and coconut milk),’ mung kavum’ (a sweet made of mung beans) and’ kalu dodol’ (a sweet made of jiggery, coconut milk and rice flour), before returning for even more games after which the afternoon session drew to a close.
The traditional lighting of the oil lamp marked the commencement of the evening session, and was graced by the presence of Rev. Fr. Tony De Alwis, Mr Manoj Tagnat of Indian Community Centre, Nottingham, and Mr. Janat and Mr. Krishan of Amman Hindu Kovil. Ven. Amitha Thero addressed the gathering and extended a warm welcome to all those present. A special vote of thanks was extended to the organising committee and well wishers for enabling the event to materialise. Mr Manoj Tagnat later addressed the gathering and thanked the Ven. Amitha Thero and the organisers on behalf of the guests.
The much anticipated prize-giving ceremony for the deserving winners of the traditional New Year games and raffle-draw followed, while guests were provided the opportunity for a further round of Sri Lankan delicacies, freshly prepared in the makeshift kitchen including Cutlets, Chinese rolls, Vade, Hoppers and String Hoppers. The re-energised guests then danced the night away to the lively tunes of the Nottingham based Sri Lankan band ‘Sapna’.