Category Archives: gender norms

Danielle de Niese straddles the World in Opera

Justin Burke, courtesy of The Weekend Australian Review, 28/29 October 2017 where the title is “Homecoming Queen”

When opera superstar Danielle de Niese returns to Australia next month to perform in The Merry Widow, among the audience will be one particular fan from her past: Johnny Young. For it was in the final year of Young’s long-running TV talent show in 1988 that de Niese, then a precocious nine-year-old singing Whitney Houston ballads and musical theatre standards, got her first big break.

Young Talent Time never ‘made’ anybody’s talent, Danielle’s wonderful voice was a gift from God,” says Young, of the series that aired on Channel 10 for an astonishing 18 years. “Danielle was a sweetheart, and she became more and more relaxed as that season went on, and by the time she won it you could see this girl was going to be something special.”

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Religious Dispensations and the Subordination of Women

Upul Wijayawardhana, courtesy of Daily News

The systematic suppression of women, persisting over centuries, has been legitimised, largely by religions and is an art-form mastered by ‘Men in Robes’. At the dawn of civilisation, women were considered superior for the simple reason that only they could produce an offspring for the continuation of the species. There is evidence to show that in Mesopotamia, one of the cradles of civilisation, if not ‘The Cradle of Civilisation’, there was equality. In the early Sumerian period, “a council of elders”, represented equally by men and women, ruled the population but gradually a patriarchal society emerged.

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Speaking of the Self: Gender Issues in South Asia

Niroshini Somasundaram, in IIAS Newsletter, reviewing A. Malhotra & S. Lambert-Hurley. 2015. Speaking of the self: gender, performance, and autobiography in South Asia. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822359838

In the last few decades, scholars of South Asian history have disputed the notion that South Asian cultures do not possess the autonomous representation of the individual, particularly in documenting histories, compared to their European counterparts. To that end, the numerous ways in which self-representation has been practiced in this region in different forms and time periods have been increasingly explored in scholarship. The rich collection of essays in this volume, edited by Anshu Malhotra and Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, challenge the existing boundaries and discourses surrounding autobiography, performance and gender in South Asian history by presenting a varied and fresh selection of women’s autobiographical writing and practices from the seventeenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The compelling choice of authors explored in the essays include Urdu novelists, a Muslim prostitute in nineteenth century Punjab, a Mughal princess, a courtesan in the Hyderabad court and male actors who perform as female characters. It moreover challenges conventional narratives in the field of autobiographical studies by relaying in careful detail the different forms which ought to be encompassed within the genre of autobiography such as poetry, patronage of architecture and fiction. Continue reading

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Sinhabahu: Reverberating Memories

KNO Dharmadasa, in The Island, 18 November 2011, where the title is “Sinhabahu : Fifty Years’ Memories”

The year 2011 marks fifty years after the first staging of Professor Sarachchandra’s play Sinhabahu which shares with his own Maname (1956) the record of enduring presence among theatre goers in Sri Lanka since the day they were first staged. The University of Peradeniya, the birth-place of the play, will ceremonially celebrate this golden jubilee on the 22 nd and 23rd of this month. The first item of this celebration will be the staging of the play in its original venue the Sarachchandra Open Air Theatre on the 22nd. The Rasikas will enjoy this performance free of charge, the University bearing the expenses. It will be followed on the 23rd with a seminar-discussion in which the original and later generations of actors and Rasikas will share their views and reminiscences.

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Effrontery …. or Bust !!!

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A Historical ‘Cuppa’ of Ceylon Tea

Ceylon Tea: The Trade That Made a Nation

The Colombo Tea Traders’ Association will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ceylon tea on July 20th with the launch of an illustrated history entitled Ceylon Tea: The Trade That Made a Nation. This art-quality large-format illustrated book has been authored by Richard Simon with Dominic Sansoni as Illustrations Editor, while the design has been fashioned by Sebastian Posingis. Continue reading

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Tiger Martyrdom: Architectural ‘Marks’ in 2009 as the SL Army captured LTTE Terrain

Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda,  courtesy of the Daily Mirror, 26 April 2017, where the title rune thus: “Martyrdom and LTTE. The worship of death” … with highlighting and additional bibliographivcal references at the end inserted imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Dr. SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda is  one of the few non-combatants allowed into the war zone during the final stages of the Eelam War. On his own initiative, he made an application to visit the operational areas and was granted permission to do so by the Defence Ministry. He toured these areas on three occasions between March and April 2009.   His work has been published in international media and military journals, and presented to audiences in the U.K., India and Canada. Dr. Tammita-Delgoda has never been an employee of the Sri Lankan Government nor the Defence Ministry.  These impressions and supporting photographs are original and based on firsthand experience in 2009 when the war was still raging and had entered its final stages.   


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