SUNFEST 2017 - Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations in Sydney

Report to Ozlanka

SUNFEST 2017 - Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations in Sydney was held on Saturday 29th April 2017 at the Castle Hill Showground. Event was well attended by an enthusiastic large gathering of all ages and cultures. Sunfest 2017 was proudly presented by The Sinhalese Cultural Forum of NSW Inc (SCF) in association with other major Sri Lankan community associations operated in the NSW. Multicultural NSW sponsored the event to make it a success.

Lighting of oil lamp by the distinguished guest Mr Lal Wickremathunga the honourable Consul General of Sri Lanka marked the start of the day. New Year customs and rituals were handled by Mr Dinesh Perera on behalf of Sanka Ridma dancing ensemble. The event comprised with New Year games where both children and adults took part in as this brought a more homely feeling.

Main highlights were the traditional raban play (drumming) by kids from Minto Sinhala School and Singithi Aurudu Kumariyo pageant conducted by the SBS radio Sinhalese service. SBS radio captured the eye of the day by broadcasting live songs from the ground as well as holding webcasts throughout the day. Sri Lankan consul office in Sydney played a vital role in the festival and operated a mobile service unit in the festival ground to reach out to Australians with a Sri Lankan background which was a novel experience for all.

Sri Lankans all across the NSW attended this joyous cultural event and had the pleasure of enjoying vivid cultural events as well as fulfilling tastebuds with authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. Evening was graced by the vibrant cultural extravaganza filled with dance, singing, drumming and stage plays. Members of Tharuna Youth group (TYG) and kids from Blacktown Sinhala School (BSS) along with participants from other Sri Lankan dancing schools in Sydney entertained the gathering.

Writer's Guild affiliated to SCF held a book stall which showcased publications from Sri Lankan writers in Sydney. Information stall operated by Sinhalese Cultural Centre Inc which is a sister entity to SCF kindled the desire of building a Cultural Centre for Sinhalese living in the NSW. "Kamatha" which was put together by Mr Somaratna Uwege and Mr Nihal Rupasinghe flew our minds to traditional paddy farming in Sri Lanka and was a favourite among kids.

The SCF media team would like to thank Mr Athula Kaldemulla for event publicity concept and design. Our gratitude is extended to SBS Radio, Ozlanka, Vidura media, Ransara Radio, Hills News, E Lanka, Lankaevents and Derana TV for providing media sponsorship for the event. Event official photography by My Roy Gunaratne of RoyGrafix.

Jagath Senake Kankanamge - Vice President - Media; The Sinhalese Cultural Forum of NSW Inc

Click here to enjoy an album by Roy Grafix

 

 

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