Category Archives: pilgrimages

Tamil … with David Shulman

Spoken by eighty million people in South Asia and a diaspora that stretches across the globe, Tamil is one of the great world languages, and one of the few ancient languages that survives as a mother tongue for so many speakers. David Shulman presents a comprehensive cultural history of Tamil—language, literature, and civilization—emphasizing how Tamil speakers and poets have understood the unique features of their language over its long history. Impetuous, musical, whimsical, in constant flux, Tamil is a living entity, and this is its biography.

Tamil: A Biography, The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 2016

HARDCOVER , $35.00 • £25.00 • €31.50  …………….ISBN 9780674059924

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Remembrance Day 1918

Lucy Robinson: “Remembrance Day: How Australia celebrated the first Armistice Day 100 years ago

As gunfire ceased on the Western Front on the morning of November 11, 1918, Australia’s first war correspondent Charles Bean observed “the gates to the future silently opened”.The armistice which secured the end of World War I had been signed at dawn, marking the conclusion of a four-year conflict that had claimed more than 60,000 Australian lives.Confirmation would take several hours to reach Australia, where crowds were gathering in the streets at the first whispers of the news. Continue reading

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The Voices of Tiger and Army Infantrymen: Sarah Kabir’s Journey towards Reconciliation

Sarah Chatta in Daily News, 9 October 2018, where the chosen title reads thus “Faces of the war” …Stories from both sides of the barbed wire tell of the pain of ordinary lives

German native Nicolas Lamade leaned over and expressed his amazement. The auditorium of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute was packed with a mixed audience: army generals, clergymen, politicians, activists, journalists, and lawyers. Lamade, Deputy Program Director of the German reconciliation project GIZ, first came to Sri Lanka in the early 2000s when he said no one dared to question official versions of wartime events in public, let alone speak out about misconceptions of those events. A decade later, he marvelled at how far Sri Lanka had come.

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Anagārika Dharmapala’s Anti-Colonial Mission

Kamal Wickremasinghe, in Island, 19 September 2018, with this title “Anagarika Dharmapala needs no rescuing” … reproduced here with highlights by The Editor, Thuppahi

Social scientific study, for better or for worse, is the only available method of gaining insights into social structures including aspects of social organisation, governance and rituals, as an aid to solving problems in social relations. Social science, however, often yields erroneous results originating from prejudices associated with the frame of embedded cultural assumptions within which evaluations take place.

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Visvakarma’s Celestial Manifestatations in Asia and Sri Lanka

Lopamudra Maitra Bajpai, in newsin.asia, 17 September 2018, where the title reads “Vishwakarma, the celestial architect who built Sri Lanka”

The Vishwakarma puja, which was observed on September 17, is not restricted to India but is observed in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The puja closely follows the celebration of the Ganapati festival. In some places, it is performed the day after Diwali in October or November.

Vishwakarma puja or Kanya Sankranti is celebrated in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand in North India; Karnataka in the south; and Assam, West Bengal Odisha and Tripura in the east, in honour of Vishwakarma – the celestial architect.

Vishwakarma idols of Bengal made of clay

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Michelle de Kretser secures Miles Franklin Award Once Again: Two Reports

I = Jason Steger: “Michelle de Kretser wins her second Miles Franklin award,” Sydney Morning Herald, 27 August 2018

The first time Michelle de Kretser​ won the Miles Franklin Literary Award she missed out on much of the excitement and fuss – she was overseas at a writers festival and was woken in the middle of the night to hear the good news. On Sunday, however, she was fully rested and firmly ensconced at the Melbourne Writers Festival, ready to pick up the prize for her most recent novel, The Life to Come.

Winner of the 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award Michelle de Kretser. Winner of the 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award Michelle de Kretser …. Photo: Meredith O’Shea

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Anagarika Dharmapala in Ceylon and the World: Missing Dimensions highlighted by Kemper

Sasanka Perera, in The Island, 8 August 2018, where the title is “Rescuing Dharmapala from the ‘Nation’,” …. with emphasis via highlighting in this version being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

I was intrigued to see the worlds of knowledge of the past that were opened up when reading Steven Kemper’s 2015 book, ‘Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World’ published by the University of Chicago Press. Growing up Sinhala Buddhist in Sri Lanka, Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) would easily be one of the most important historical characters from the recent past, we had become familiar with early in our lives. This was certainly so for my generation. As we know from that experience, Dharmapala was closely and intimately linked to the country’s Buddhist revivalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Precisely due to this reason, he was the most iconic culture hero of the Sinhala Buddhists in the modern period.

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