Sinhala and Tamil New
Year festivities are now being drawn
to a close and Sri-Lankans around
the world celebrated this very
special cultural festival in a grand
scale. It was an opportunity for
the younger generation, particularly
living abroad to learn and witness
customs and traditions associated
with the New Year.
The New Year is a fun
and festive time symbolizing new
beginnings, possibility and hope.
Sri Lankans attach great importance
to New Year customs and traditions
which are performed according to
auspicious times. Observing
religious activities during
Nonagathe (neutral period),
lighting of the hearth and eating
first meal of the year at the
auspicious time, offering betel
leaves to the elders as a gesture of
deference and respect, exchange of
money and gifts for good luck
and initiating work and new ventures
are some of the activities to
inaugurate the coming of the New
Year which culminates with the
ritual anointing of oil followed by
Sri Lanka Janahanda
Foundation in Hounslow held this
year’s Sinhala and Tamil New Year
celebration on 14thApril
2012 in Lampton School, Hounslow,
Middlesex where quite a number of
special guests including the members
of the clergy, Dr. Chris Nonis High
Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Deputy
High Commissioner Mr. Lenagala,
newly elected MP for Feltham and
Heston Ms. Seema Malhothra, former
Mayor of London Mr. Ken Livingstone,
Leader of the Hounslow Council Mr.
Jagdish Sharma, Cllr Gopal Dilan and
many other dignitaries attended.
This was a
significant occasion not only for
Janahanda Foundation but for all Sri
Lankans in the area. Proceedings
commenced with the lighting of the
traditional oil lamp and the speech
by solicitor, Miss. Surya
Samaraweera, Patron of the
Foundation to welcome the guests and
Amongst the speakers
who addressed the gathering were Dr.
Chris Nonis, Ms. Seema Malhotra and
Mr. Ken Livingstone.
Mr. Sri Lal Dias, the
president of the Foundation, summed
up the work and activities carried
out by the Janahanda Foundation
during his speech.
Bandara and Shiran Almeida (Vice
President) alternating between
Sinhala and English were the
livewire of the event.
Miss. Larishiya Dias
delivered the vote of thanks.
New Year celebrations
started with all the traditional
games and sports in the morning and
the most popular event was the Tug
of War which kept everyone amused.
A grand colourful pageant was
showcased in the evening which
included a variety of traditional
dance, music and fancy dress.
Avrudu Kumari beauty contest was
the highlight of all and Miss.
Salika Wejesinghe was crowned as
this year’s winner. Tireless efforts
by Mrs.Manoja Almeida and Ms. Niru
Hettiarachchi in organising the
beauty pageant were commended.
Cultural dances were performed by
the guidance of Mihirani
Dissanayake from Midlands Sarasi
night was the grand finale at which
many danced the night away to the
rhythms of Sunil Perera, Dimuthu
Thilakarathne, Sunil Wimalaratne and
Larishiya Dias, music performed by
Dammika And Fresh Night.
Celebration was a
huge success with a massive turn out
of Sri Lankans of all ethnicities
and as well as those from other
nationalities and we would like to
express our sincere thanks for those
who helped us in numerous ways to
success this event in a grand scale.
(Press Release By Janahada