Friday, 18 April 2014 00:01
The Embassy of Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lankan Associations and Sri Lankan community living in Japan organised the Sinhala and Tamil New Year Festival recently in Tokyo. A large gathering of over 5,000 Sri Lankan and Japanese community members from all parts of Japan participated and celebrated this auspicious occasion. The Chief Guest at the opening ceremony was Yoshiki Nagatamo, Mayor of Chofu City.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda stressed the importance of cultural events of this nature to promote Sri Lanka’s unity and traditions in a foreign nation in addition to strengthening bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka through such cultural exchanges.
The Ambassador highlighted the close and friendly relations that Japan and Sri Lanka have shared over the years recollecting the support extended to Japan by Sri Lanka at the San Francisco peace conference in 1951 and expressed gratitude to the people of Japan for their overwhelming generosity and goodwill extended to Sri Lanka with ODA assistance and during Tsunami 2004.
Nagatamo also addressed the gathering with wishes for the special occasion, stressing the similarities of two cultures and friendly ties between two countries and also thanked for the support extended to Japan during Tsunami in 2011.
A number of traditional games were organised which included ‘Kanamuttibindeema’, ‘Raban Geseema’, ‘Aliyataehethabeema’, ‘Andayata kiri keveema’ and the Avurudu Kumari competition where Japanese and Sri Lankan contestants participated in the event. The Avurudu celebrations also comprised of Sri Lankan cultural performances including a fashion show of Sri Lankan ladies traditional costume and authentic Sri Lankan food. All the attendees were entertained by the Channa-Upuli Dance Troup.
The event was also highlighted as an ideal opportunity for Sri Lankans to gather and participate as a community in upholding cultural relations.
The celebrations were organised by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan in joint collaboration with the Sri Lankan Associations, Volunteer Organisations and The New Year Committee.