When gender disparity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is an issue even today, the work of a few pioneering women is of great value.
Kaffirs, descendants of Portuguese traders and African slaves, popularised the ‘baila’ form of music in Sri Lanka. But there exists a lesser-known form of the music—’vaada baila’, and its champions believe it is an art form in crisis.
Vaada Baila—an entertaining but dying form of Sri Lankan music—is where singers essentially debate each other in Baila verse. We speak to Percy Rajapaksha, who has been a champion of Vaada Baila for over 40 years.
Almost every Sinhalese book reader in Sri Lanka will know ‘Guru Geethaya’ — the Sinhalese translation of Chingiz Aitmatov’s ‘The First Teacher.’ It’s a love that covers Russian literature and it goes back decades.
Tucked away behind a few twisted byroads in Dehiwala is a school. As you approach it, you will notice something very different: It is not the interval break, and yet, children are walking around freely, with not a single teacher chasing after them! This is the La Petite Fleur Academy, a school at which children come first.
Just over a year ago we lost one of Sri Lanka’s cinematic titans with the passing of Dharmasena Pathiraja. Remembered with respect as a pioneer of Sri Lanka’s Left Bank of cinema and second cinematic revolution, he shone a spotlight on the unseen struggle of many ordinary people through his body of work.
Demonism and Witchcraft are still a strong influence on Sri Lankan society today. Perhaps much like it was in 1865 as written by Dandris de Silva Gooneratne.
H.R. Jothipala may not have been a critical darling, but there was no artist as close to the hearts of the people as he was.
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