Sinhala and Hindu New Year was celebrated at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing on 15 April 2018 with the participation of over 400 Sri Lankans, Chinese nationals and other foreign well-wishers. The new year celebrations were jointly organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing and the China-Sri Lanka Youth Forum.
The celebrations were held under the patronage of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku. Speaking at the event, Ambassador Kodituwakku highlighted the importance of cultural events of this nature, which provide an opportunity for Sri Lankans living in Beijing and adjoining areas to get together and enjoy familiar festivities though they live far away from Sri Lanka. UNHCR Representative in China Sivanka Dhanapala also participated in the event.
The ceremony commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp, and followed traditional new year customs and rituals such as boiling of milk. The Kevum Kiribath table with traditional Sri Lankan food was open to all participants. Cultural performances by Sri Lankan students from Beijing and Tianjin added colour to the event. All participants were served with traditional Sri Lankan lunch.
The festivities also included Avurudu games such as pillow fighting, breaking the pot blind-folded, bursting of balloons, musical chairs and volleyball. A two-kilometer Avurudu country race was also held, connecting roads around the Embassy premises. At the end of the ceremony, Beijing Bakmaha Kumara and Bakmaha Kumari were selected, and Chathuri Wickremaarachchi was crowned as Bakmaha Kumari while Pragalathan Elanko won the Bakmaha Kumara title. The event was reported in Chinese web and social media networks.
The Sri Lankan student community in Sichuan has also celebrated the Sinhala and Hindu New Year at Jiang’an University in Sichuan on the same day.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
16 April 2018