Category Archives: Indian religions

The Roots of Kandyan Dancing

DBT Kappagoda, in Daily News, 4 April 2018, where the title reads thus How Kandyan dancing began”

Kandyan dancing is popularly known as Udarata Natum derived its name from the traditional dance forms peculiar to the central region of Sri Lanka. The origin of Kandyan dancing can be traced back to the time of the Nayakkar rulers who ascended the throne of the Kandyan Kingdom 300 years ago.

In Kandyan dancing Vannam forms as a special  feature. In Tamil and Telegu Vannam means a description. When the dancer performs he recites the Vannama and according to the description when he has recited and begins to dance displaying a Tandava style of dancing. The dancing is done in a rigorous way while describing the movement of the cobra (Naiyandi), elephant (Gajaga), peacock (Monera), eagle (Ukussa) showing the onlookers a description of the animal. In the course of the recitation, adoration to the Buddha and the great qualities he had possessed is highlighted.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, literary achievements, performance, religiosity, transport and communications, travelogue, world events & processes

The History of Caste in South Asia via a Work on the Rise of the Karava in Ceylon

Susan Bayly  in 1983, reviewing  Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 by Michael Roberts Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1982.

The literature on the south Asian caste system is vast and contentious and the current war of words shows no sign of abating. This book conforms to current trends both in focusing on the experience of a single caste group under colonial rule, and also in adopting a polemical tone towards other historians. Roberts’ subject is the Karava population of Sri Lanka and his first aim is to explain why this group of poor fishermen and artisans managed to throw up a disproportionately large elite of businessmen, lawyers and other western-educated professional men by the end of the nineteenth-century. The discussion is set against the background of works on comparable Asian business communities such as the Marwaris and Parsis. An important theme, then, is the relationship between individual enterprise and the corporate structure of caste: did the Karava magnate class emerge because of, or in spite of, their roots in a hierarchical caste order? Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, caste issues, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, historical interpretation, immigration, Indian religions, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, sri lankan society, transport and communications, world events & processes

Kemper in London on Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World

Listen to PODCAST by Steven E. Kemper introducing his book Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World (U of Chicago Press, 2015) from New Books in Buddhist Studies … in London ….. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/new-books-in-buddhist-studies/id458210899?mt=2&i=1000345817559

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, violence of language, world affairs, zealotry

Indian Aid is without Strings says Ambassador Sandhu

Editor, NewsInAsia, 4 January 2018, where the title runs  India’s only aim in Lanka is to cooperate and collaborate with it, says envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu””

The Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has said that India’s only agenda in Sri Lanka is to “cooperate and collaborate” with it, and that Indo-Lankan bilateral cooperation is all about “sharing and caring” and devoid of “caveats and riders”. Speaking here on Wednesday following the signing of an agreement by which Sri Lanka will purchase 209 state of the art ambulances with an Indian grant of US$ 15.02 million, the Indian envoy quoted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  who said in July 2016 that India joins hands with its dear and near partner, Sri Lanka, to cooperate on projects, “based on Sri Lanka’s own choices and priorities for development.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, governance, Indian religions, island economy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

The Guard Stones Of Ancient Sri Lanka

Shannine Daniel, courtesy of Roar Media, 6 December 2017, where the title is  “When Architecture and Buddhism Came Together. The Guard Stones Of Ancient Sri Lanka”

The ruins of Sri Lanka’s ancient kingdoms are a testament to the architectural skill of our ancestors. They have several unique architectural features including intricately carved stairs, the moonstones that lie at the foot of the stairs, and the guard stones that are placed on either side of the stairs at the entrances to these historic and religious sites. Among these, the guard stones, known as muragal in Sinhalese, are particularly fascinating. These features of Sinhalese architecture have both practical and decorative purposes.

 Some academics believe that the concept of guard stones found its way to Sri Lanka from India

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, Buddhism, cultural transmission, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, Saivism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people

Famous Authors dwelling on Ceylon’s Attractions: Read against the Grain Please

Tamara Fernando in the Daily News, 22 November 2017 where the title is “Reading against the grain: the darker side of travel writing” ….. while the highlighting emphasis is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi” .

Much to the delight of the coffee-table-book author and the travel connoisseur, Sri Lanka is not only rich in natural beauty, but also equally well-endowed with ornate, detail-laden travel accounts of Westerners encountering its landscape for the first time. The series of publications by the National Trust of Sri Lanka, for instance, or books on her national parks often quote from and excerpt this language.

  Mark Twain

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under american imperialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, Indian religions, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, Uncategorized, world events & processes

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Buddhism, cultural transmission, discrimination, education policy, female empowerment, fundamentalism, gender norms, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, legal issues, life stories, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes