One of the biggest festive occasions of the island, Avurudu or the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, stretches beyond just rituals, and involves a range of different games that make the festivity fun and exciting.
Commonly know as ‘avurudu kreeda’, meaning avurudu games, these activities have been around for many centuries. Some of the more popular games of the season include, ‘kata gaseema’ a game played using dice, climbing a greased pole, playing the ‘raban’, and the much loved avurudu ‘kumara’ and ‘kumariya’ competition.
Considering the growing number of Sri Lankans on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Dialog took on a digital approach towards these popular games for Avurudu 2018 creating the hashtag ‘#AvuruduLK.’
Kata Gaseema Or Dice Game
Kata gaseema is a traditional Avurudu game that is played using a dice amongst a group of individuals. The game is played by each player throwing the dice at an angled board, and the person with the highest number emerging as the winner. In some instances the game is played for money or goods as well.
Digitalizing kata gaseema, Dialog carried out this activity on twitter with the hashtag #AvuruduKeta. The game was solely carried out on twitter with each tweet being equal to the throwing of the dice. The game was run for 24 hours and participants had to post a tweet stating they would like to take part in the game to which Dialog would tweet back with a lucky number. Participants being allowed only one tweet per hour, and each tweet being the gateway to score points, Dialog had Sri Lankans tweeting away in aim of scoring the most number of points.
Climbing The Grease Pole
More commonly known as ‘lissana gaha nageema’, this is yet another favorite when it comes to avurudu games. Typically, a timber pole with a height of about 10 meters is fixed into the ground with money or sometimes just a flag attached to the very top of the pole. The pole being rubbed with thick grease, the aim of the game is to successfully climb to the very top of the pole without slipping and claim the money or flag. The first person to climb the greased pole and complete the task is the winner.
#AvuruduLK by Dialog carried out #LissanaGaha on Twitter and Facebook. Altering the game in order to make it compatible on digital platforms, #LissanaGaha required participants to guess the correct height of the flag on the pole. The game being carried out on two platforms, two individuals who guessed the correct height were selected as winners and awarded cash prizes.
Avurudu Kumara And Avurudu Kumariya
Somewhat like a fashion show, this activity requires males and females to walk down a ramp, males dressed in the traditional sarong and shirt attire while the females take on the redda hatta, meaning jacket and a cloth draped as a skirt. The best-dressed male wins the title of avurudu kumaraya and the best-dressed female emerges as the avurudu kumariya.
Avurudu is never complete without an avurudu kumara and kumariya competition. Involving a twist, #AvuruduKumara and #AvuruduKumariya was run on Twitter with the competition involving two rounds prior to choosing one male and female as the winner. Unlike the traditional competition, the #AvuruduLk campaign required Sri Lankans to nominate individuals as the kumara and kumariya. The first round called for nominations of which 15 individuals were shortlisted for each under #AvuruduKumara and #AvuruduKumariya. The 15 nominees under each hashtag qualified for the first round of voting from which 5 nominees for each #AvuruduKumara and #AvuruduKumariya moved on to the second round. Based on a voting system again, one male and one female were titled as the kumara and a kumariya.
Attracting many Sri Lankans with these hashtag games, #AvuruduLK alongside the other hashtags were trending on twitter during the course of the campaign. Taking on a digital approach, Dialog also gave individuals across the island the opportunity to take part in all the avurudu fun making these games accessible to all.
Cover image courtesy: thepinsta.com