Category Archives: female empowerment

In Appreciation of My Talented Sister, Audrey

Michael Roberts, courtesy of the Sunday Times, 1 April 2018, where the title is Snapshots of a life lived to the full”

My sister Audrey Roberts passed away in Oxford in February, a little before her 84th birthday. A divorcee, bearing the name of her second husband as Audrey Maxwell, she had no issue, but can claim to have lived a full life marked by remarkable energy, wide-ranging friendships and a camaraderie that has etched her memory in many minds.

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Filed under charitable outreach, cultural transmission, female empowerment, gender norms, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, voluntary workers, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Baila! Shihan’s Performative Historical Revelations

The Sooriya Village Concert and Workshop Series presents, “What Is Baila?” conducted by Dr. Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya with illustrative accompaniments on Piano & Bongo!

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Profound Reflections: Jean Arasanayagam in Response to Smrti Daniel’s Searching Questions

Jean faces Smrti 

Daniel 1: What in your childhood contributed to the kind of writer you are now? What recurring motifs and images from that time find expression in your work?

JEAN1: So many factors. As I delve into my mind those images together with the diverse motifs that were part of each and every experience of my childhood. I was greatly loved and cared for by my parents and had aunts and uncles who played an important part in the lives of my brother and sister (I was the youngest) and showered us with gifts, especially books, from a very early age. My parents too read a great deal and the houses we lived in were full of books – of course the individual tastes of my parents were reflected in their reading choices. My father loved reading on everything under the sun, sport, Big Game, hunters and hunting, colonial history and landmark figures, discovery and exploration, plantations and the lives of planters in Ceylon (many of them were his friends), reminiscences, biographies, autobiographies, explorers, wars, the jungle lore of Ceylon … So much and so much, while my mother read a great deal of romantic fiction. She had a great store of memories too and would relate very adult stories to me (in between it was Hans Christian Andersen, the Grimm Brothers, fairy tales, family history where she unfolded hidden narratives which penetrated my mind and which I have reconstructed into greater dimensions to trace our lineage and bloodlines – so everything, now that I look on it all, began in my childhood, as being the youngest I was closest to them while my brother was at College, and my sister too spent more time at school (Wesley and Trinity, later the University of Colombo for my brother, and Girls’ High School for my sister). It would take reams and reams to write about just this one aspect of my childhood. There are other aspects too – the freedoms I enjoyed when I was growing up in the provincial township of Kadugannawa, living in that house on the hill. Continue reading

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Encountering Prejudice in Lanka as a Person of Mixed Descent

Krystle Reid, from Groundviews, http://groundviews.org/author/krystle-reid/  where the title is “A Welcoming Nation”

The following is a list of things I’m often asked or told, revealing of Sri Lankan perceptions about the Burgher community.

  1. Are you Sri Lankan?
  2. Can you speak in Sinhalese?
  3. ‘You’re a Burgher? You sure don’t look like one’
  4. ‘Sounds like a Las Vegas stripper name’
  5. ‘They get drunk every Saturday and go to church the next day, no shame’
  6. ‘Burghers? Parents must be divorced then.’
  7. ‘Lansi no? Probably got the job because of her English and the mini skirt’
  8. ‘Burgher…. like a hamburger?’

I could continue but the real point I was trying to make is that 70 years after independence, our ethnicity is still misunderstood. Continue reading

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Individual Subjectivity in the Appraisal of 70 Years of Independence: Explorations in Groundviews

What does it mean to be Sri Lankan?

70 years after independence, our identity is defined mostly along majoritarian lines, which can be traced back to the divisions created under British rule. These divisions have contributed to violence and war, in the years since 1948.

To this day, there are communities who feel that what is commonly projected and defined as the Sri Lankan identity does not reflect their reality, or themselves. Looking at this, Groundviews produced a series of videos exploring identity and belonging in a country emerging from war, but not yet out of conflict.

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Restoring the Hymen or Re-virginising

Re-virginising: From an Australian clinic’s advertisement offering hymen repair surgery, or hymenoplasty

Many women approach us to have their hymen re-instated for social, cultural and religious reasons. Many women’s hymens may have inadvertently broken through strenuous sporting and vigorous activity. We have been performing this simple procedure for many years.

The Wonder Down Under: A user’s guide to the vagina by Ellen Stokken Dahl and Nina Brochmann.

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Malala outpaces Jinnah, Benezir and Imran in Wikipedia Reference stakes in 2017

Malala Yousufzai topped the list of most searched Pakistanis on Wikipedia for a second year in a row, revealed a report of the Pakistan affiliate of The Wikimedia Foundation. The list, which tabulates Wikipedia searches of Pakistani personalities, is based on searches carried out from January 1, 2017 to December 20, 2017.  Here’s who all made it to the top 20:

1) Malala Yousufzai (2,558,980 pageviews)

How Malala made headlines in 2017:

Malala makes it to Bazaar’s 150 Visionary Women list

Relax, Malala’s jeans aren’t an assault on your national identity

Urdu edition of Malala’s book ‘will remove misconceptions’

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