‘Wadakaha Sudiya’: The1955 Solar Eclipse Hoax

What do you get when you combine a solar eclipse, fake news and colourism? Islandwide chaos — and, for Wally Bastianz, a hit baila song.

The inspiration behind Bastianz’s ‘Wadakaha Sudiya’ was a true event that took place in 1955 Ceylon. In anticipation of an upcoming solar eclipse, superstition and misinformation spread across the island, leading to a medical disaster.

Have Sri Lankans learned their lesson? Or have we carried our superstitions all the way into the 21st century?

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