India – Sri Lanka friendship promoted through common appreciation of Western Classical Music
Sri Lanka Consulate General office in Mumbai celebrated 72nd Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka with much fanfare and with unique presentation by Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL). The Anniversary of Independence event was held at prestigious Tata Theatre of the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) at Nariman Point in Mumbai, recently.
This special Independence Anniversary celebration was began with the singing of the National Anthems of India and Sri Lanka. The National anthem was was played by the musicians from the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL) and singers from Soul Sounds. At the end of the Concert, the Sri Lankan musicians received a standing ovation for their performance.
A large number of Diplomats from various countries, Senior State Government Officials, leading business community, top media personnel, Sri Lankan Navy personnels, representatives from the travel trade and music lovers in Mumbai were present. It maybe noted that Mumbai has a large number of western classical music lovers and has the only well equipped performance center for entire India.
The Tata Theater was decorated with lotus and coconut flower arrangements and other soothing decorations. The lotus floral arrangments made entire venue emanating lotus fragrance and it created a Sri Lankan ambience. Sri Lankan touristic attractions were also promoted systematically on the screen during the event. The scenic view of Sri Lanka was highlighted in proper way and was well appreciated by all august audiences. The audience were appreciating events with loud applause.
Her Excellency, Chamari Rodrigo – Consul General (CG) of Sri Lanka in Mumbai, welcoming the august gathering said “India is Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour and longstanding friend. The Government of Sri Lanka under its new leadership is looking forward to continuing the close links and cooperation with India. While highlighting the recent high level bilateral exchanges, Pictures of the important meetings and events were shown on the screen”. She also said that “These bilateral exchanges stand out and demonstrates the affinity, the uniqueness, the strength and above all the friendship of the two countries and its people”.
Referring to the multifaceted contacts between India and Sri Lanka maintained over centuries, the CG said “India – Sri Lanka friendship is shining in a new era through western classical music”.
Following the National day proceedings, musicians from SOSL and singers from soul sounds commenced their performance. This was the first time that SOSL which is the oldest symphony orchestra in the entire Indian sub- continent made a solo performance at a Sri Lankan event in Mumbai. The one hour concert consisted of chamber works for smaller ensembles and solo performers as well as popular songs and arias by vocalists. The Ensemble gave a fitting end to the celebration by performing “Danno Budunge” as the last item which was written by a Sri Lankan playwright and composed by an Indian named Vishwanath Lauji.
Chief Guest – Sumit Mullick, State Chief Information Commissioner while addressing the August gathering recalled that Sri Lanka has been described in various terms as a tear drop in the Indian Ocean, as an Island in the sun, as a Paradise on earth, as a jewel shining in the waters. He underscored that Sri Lanka is all this, and with it’s amazing culture and history, is much, much, more.
Mullick further added, “India and Sri Lanka has historical and mythological importance too, which is continuing as on today. The Grand Epic “Ramayana” has mention of Rama and King Ravana of Sri Lanka. Every Indian is well aware of Lanka and have grand belief of both country’s previous relevance. In Epic Ramayana, the characters Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Bharata, Hanuman and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India and Sri Lanka”.
A Diplomat from prominent European country speaking to Mumbai Messenger, on the condition of anonymity said “The Sri Lankan Anniversary Independence Day celebration organized by Sri Lankan consulate was a brilliant theme. The performance by Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka was a complete new theme and we all liked it. In future, we are also contemplating to incporporate similar kind of event on our National Day celebration. The entire event was a plesant surprise”.
Dining Diplomacy: Sri Lanka is known for serving classic cuisine which are popular globally. The event became more prominent due to its classic food served to guests. There were two Sri Lankan chefs specially flown in from Sri Lanka. They produced an array of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.The prominent dishes which were served included hoppers and kottu roti on buffet dinner. Prominent Sri Lankan desserts included ‘Thala karali’ and other too. Sri Lanka’s famour Ginger Beer was a part of the dinner which was enjoyed by everyone.
Sri Lanka Tourism, Sri Lankan Airlines, Brandix, Elephant House and Furtados sponsored the Classical music concert to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence and the 72 years of Diplomatic relations between India & Sri Lanka.