Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Year in Australia and Sri Lanka

My family and Jim at Camp Eureka
Boingology, Warbuton,Melbourne.

In January 2011, we were able to see the way Melbourne celebrated the New Year. Fire works, greetings, laughs, smiles and happy faces of people wishing each other a “happy New Year!” That was a n interesting experience.  Also we could experience how some other Melbourne people celebrated New Year too. Thanks to Jim Crosthwaite, our dear friend (Co Founder of JCJ) in Melbourne,  we were invited  to spend few days at Camp Eureka ( http://campeureka.org.au/) . It was a great experience for our family to spend few days on camping especially on the first day of the year. It was something similar to Sri Lanka as camp environment reminded us Sinharaja  Kudawa camp. We enjoyed New Year there by watching the nature, visiting a Buddhist Temple in Warbuton and visiting places like Boingology. Boingology is a new concept of art done by using wood carvings and left over materials (http://www.boingabob.com/). I conducted early morning environmental meditation and we all enjoyed cooking together (I cooked Sri Lankan style lentils), late evening cultural event where we all got together and performed.
When we came back to Sri Lanka in March I became busy with my work again after a year. On top of that Sinhala Tamil New year was in April. As it is the most important cultural event for us I had to get ready as soon as I came back. Unfortunately it was not a very happy New year (April 14th) for my family as we all had to attend my best friend’s (Thilini Herath) funeral. It was heart breaking and we postponed all our social commitments. We went to Matale where I lived during my schooling days with my friend Thilini.

Laughing competition
"Lime on spoon" race
Some how I had to overcome the shock and had to face the reality so I was convinced to organize New Year festival for the kids in our neighborhood. It was an event that I started two years ago.  20 kids from 10 houses in our neighborhood came to my house (ECO-V office too) and enjoyed the afternoon of 7th May actively participating in the games and events that we organized to celebrate the Sinhala Tamil New year.  On the same day morning I had a meeting with some of the active members of ECO-V to discuss about 10th Anniversary. Of course it was the first meeting since I came back to Sri Lanka. We also discussed about next project of ECO-V the Kelani Nadee Yatra (www.journeysforclimatejustice.org.au). All were very positive about it and promised to give their fullest support to make it successful.

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