7th May 2000
Editorial/Opinion| Business| Sports|
Sports Plus| Mirror Magazine
Leading the way once againSiyapin Sirin Saru
Dethis Lakuni Visituru
Kelesun Keren Duru
Vandim Muni Uthuman Tiloguru.
To hear this verse from the Guttila Kavya being sung by Pundit Amaradeva to open his programme of neo-classical music made the enthusiastic audience which gathered in the lawn of the Indian Cultural Centre at Bauddhaloka Mawatha the other evening, realise that the maestro is on a mission.
He wants to protect Sinhala music from its present plight. He wants to stop the current trend of electronic channels dishing out low-grade stuff in the name of music. He wants to make Sinhala music more meaningful and rich. He wants to convince everyone that this can be achieved easily if one were to go back to the classics where there is enough material to do it.
The experimental programme proved that Pundit Amaradeva has the potential to do it. He has not exhausted his skills. He is a determined man. He is willing to take up the challenge. We got a glimpse of what he proposes to do in the coming months when he presented the 'Beauty of the evening' (written by B. T. Mendis) using the traditional viridu style. Presenting a devotional song on lyrics given to him by Professor Sunil Ariyaratne way back in 1964 ("I found it among my pile of papers and realised I had not done anything about it"), he related how he was inspired by the way the village Loku Hamuduruwo chanted stanzas many years ago.
Another was on lyrics written by Sri Chandraratne Manawasinghe, which Pundit Amaradeva felt was appropriate to the present climate. His violin solo (accompanied by son Ranjana on the tabla) was to illustrate the need for quality instrumental music.
Pundit Amaradeva's appeal to the critics and the 'rasikas' to help in his effort to uplift the standard of music certainly deserves a positive response. The Indian Cultural Centre took the initiative to launch the project. Why can't the numerous state institutions which claim they are promoting the arts take over from there and help Pundit Amaradeva to launch it countrywide?
Amaradeva Trust FundMusic lovers, note Saturday, August 5 in your diary. Come to the BMICH and be a partner in the launch of the Pundit Amaradeva Trust Fund.
Amara Uvasara, a festival of music to mark the occasion is being planned by the Old Anandians.
The main aim of the Fund would be to select a student of music every
year and help him pursue higher studies in a recognised institute in India.
Hopefully, such young men and women will help foster the tradition set
by Pundit Amaradeva in developing an art out of creative music in this
No problemOnce an Englishman asked me in disgust: For heaven's sake, tell me, what do Sri Lankans mean when you say 'no problem'? He told me about an unpleasant experience at a government office, which he had to visit again and again to get a matter attended to.
Much to his surprise, I told him that the Sinhalese say "no problem" only when there IS a problem. I told him that the apparent confusion is a carry over from Sinhala.
In Sinhala, there are several negatives. Two of these are "nae:" and "neme:".
The negative "nae:" expresses 'non-existence': salli nae: (There isn't money); dostara kenek nae: (There isn't a doctor) and ada kopi nae: (Today, there's no coffee).
The negative "neme: expresses 'denial': salli neme: (It is not money); dostara kenek neme: (Is not a doctor) and ada kopi neme: (Today it is not coffee).
Thus, when a Sinhalese does not have a problem, he says: prasnayak nae:
However, when there is a problem and when something can be done about it, then he assures: prasnayak neme:.
In Sri Lankan English, "no problem" originates from "prasnayak neme:" (It isn't a problem) and not from "prasanayak nae": (There isn't a problem).
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