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24th September 2000
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Is love enough?

Love is not all you need to be happily married , say some experts

Sometimes being in love just isn't enough. Now a new study claims it is never enough and no one should get married on the strength of it. Instead - before couples take the plunge - they are being encouraged to take a new "marriage test" which claims to be able to predict whether they will stay together.

The test is based on a study using social science research dating back 60 years from more than 100 case studies, which indicate that age, education, economic status, parental approval, ambition and views on love are essential in determining who should marry whom.

The man behind the test, Professor Jeffery Larson of Brigham Young University in Utah, said: "Many think that love is enough to overcome any obstacle - but history continues to prove this is simply not true. The time for change is before you say," I do." Professor Larson, in charge of marriage and family studies at the university, claims his test will help to reduce marriage break-ups by "guiding couples towards their final destination - a lasting, happy marriage". In Britain, two-fifths of marriages end in divorce.

Answers to the questions in the test (see box) can flag up "red lights" which indicate that marriage to your beloved might not be wise. Indicators that a relationship is in trouble include the frequently asked question: "Are you sure you love me?" (evidence of poor self-esteem), either partner repeatedly thinking that "things might get better after we're married", and the domination of the relationship by one partner.

Other signs that there could be trouble ahead include possessiveness, control, rigid beliefs and walking away from disagreement. Professor Larson, whose new book is titled Should We Stay Together? said that any of these pointers could indicate more serious underlying problems.

"These people have little insight into their problems and are poor marriage choices," he said. "While the timing might be right for some, others need more time to mature; some to work through specific issues, and others should never be together at all."

However, Julia Cole of the British marriage counselling service Relate, said that while a test that helps couples explore their relationship "can be useful", it was "only a snapshot in time. She recommended pre-marriage counselling as a more comprehensive alternative to a one-off test.

Evening Standard

The Love Test 

The following questions come from Professor Jeffery Larson's test. The more you disagree with the following questions or statements, the more the chances are that you are in for an unhappy marriage. 

1. Being married is the first or second most important thing in life; 
2. Mothers have more natural ability than fathers in relating to infants; 
3. Married couples do not need to share many hobbies with each other ; 
4. Sharing my feelings and concerns about our relationship with family and friends is okay; 
5. Money may not buy happiness in a family, but it does help; 
6. A couple should delay having children until other important issues are worked out; 
7. Relationships are unpredictable; 
8. When I'm upset with my partner I ignore him or her for a while; 
9. Time will resolve any problems we have as a couple; 
10. It is important for a husband and wife to have as many of the same friends and to like each other's friends; 
11. Husbands and wives should look carefully for bargains before buying something they want;
12. It is important to me that my family has the finer things in life; 
13. People get stuck in marriage;
14. Physical relationship is the key to marital happiness; 
15. It would not bother me if the wife earned more than the husband. 

When chaos and serenity merge

By Laila Nasry and Ruhanie Perera
Two young artists with a passion for all that is different yet ever beautiful and imperfectly perfect, step forward to take you down the path they travel every time they sit in front of a canvas with a paintbrush in hand. A path which will take you 'off the beaten track'. 

"Off the beaten track" is the exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Shehla Latif and Dilantha Muraj to be held at the Lionel Wendt Gallery on September 29 at 6 p.m. It is open to the public on September 30 and October 1 from 10 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. The art exhibition presented by them is named 'Off the beaten track' for many reasons. "Mainly because we both strive to capture the extraordinary in our art," says Shehla. 

The idea of an exhibition came quite by chance. A year ago Shehla was involved in doing the set designs for a school play, when Rupesinghe, one of the stage-hands at the Wendt, being fascinated by her work had urged her to hold an exhibition, solemnly promising to help out himself. Having had exhibitions before Shehla thought why not? "And it was then that I began preparing for this exhibition," she says. 

Shehla and Dilantha are colleagues studying architecture together at the Moratuwa University. Their passion for art goes way back to their young days. Having discovered paints and pastels at a tender age, the initial scribble soon gave way to deft, refined strokes bringing to life forms of an emotive imagination and watchful eyes. Art was not just a hobby but a part of them. Throughout school, art featured prominently. Later assuming the role of foundation for their career pursuits. 

"I used to win the art prizes even when I was a kid, so I naturally went on to do art for my O/Levels. My art teacher at St. Bridget's Convent was very supportive too."

21-year-old Shehla, very much 'nature's daughter' is fascinated by the beauty she sees around her. Landscapes are her forte. Any breathtakingly beautiful scene that catches her eye is reproduced. "I always remember trees in detail, the shape of the trunk, the branches...everything. I just look to glorify God's beautiful creation, without changing it." 

Abstract is more Dilantha's style. His paintings reflect intense emotion and varying moods. "Not the type of art we are very familiar with. I like abstract because it's an art form which encourages creating something new." Sculpture is another art form he revels in - working with wood and plaster of paris, he first "gives into his creative spirit" and then gives it a name.

Both Shehla and Dilantha paint when they are sad or have been emotionally moved. For her art is more a therapy that helps calm her down and brings serenity back into her life. For him it's a form of release of pent-up emotions in a way he knows best. For the public it will be an art exhibition of forms and images... of chaos and serenity.


We are very happy with the response we've been getting for our 'Clothes Line', but sometimes there is just not enough room to hang all the items we get during the week. So if you don't see yours this week, look out for it in the coming weeks. And meanwhile, please keep writing in about all those annoying, intriguing or uplifting experiences or ideas in not more than 350 words.

The 'naked' truth

I am taking this opportunity to express my views on our 'female' teen fashions.We know that we are in the 21st century. But the truth is that young girls are not aware of this. They feel that they are still in the stone age. 

Parents, politicians and very educated people talk much about rape today. Every day we hear about such occurences in our society. I feel that we cannot really blame men,because the young girls are also to be blamed. Young girls should think of the clothes they wear. 

As a teenage girl,I know why most girls are 'half naked' when they dress. We all like to attract the opposite sex. But wearing shorts, mini skirts and tight skirts with long slits is not the way to go about it. I am not trying to tell girls not to wear fashionable dresses. Even if I do they will tell me that it is their choice.

If you are a real Sri Lankan, you should live according to our culture. I'm very glad to write about Muslim girls. They know the truth about clothes better than we do. I know most Sinhalese girls like to wear revealing clothes. An Englishman once remarked that we are more British than the British. They wear clothes to suit their climate. The point I want to make is that we mustn't ignore our precious culture when we dress in the 21st century. 


A crown of wisdom

I often wonder why the adults of today are trying to flee the natural process of aging? Some of my favorite university lecturers and my father and mother are beginning to have strands of silver mixed with black in their hair. I am glad they are not trying to hide the fact that they are growing old. 

I see these silver strands as signs of wisdom and experience; symbols of everything that we, the young have yet to know. But this is not the case with the other adults around me. 

People who simply have to be older than sixty have jet black hair or hair turned brown due to excessive dying. Dye or die has become the norm of the day. It is natural for anybody who has passed the landmark of forty to have grey hair. God wanted it that way. 

All those who try to hide the silver strands with a black dye are hypocrites. They are trying to fool themselves as well as the world. Is it not better to accept the fact that one is growing old than to hide behind a packet of dye and pretend one is still twenty-five? 

The spirit of youth is something that lives within one self, not surely in jet black hair? When the first strands of white begin to appear on my own head, I will be proud of them. I'll see them as marks of maturity. 


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Music to build bridges

Sri Lanka's music scene gets a major boost next month when the Country Music Foundation (CMF) hosts its annual Country Road concert. This year's concert is very special as it marks the 10th anniversary concert of country and folk music presented by the Colombo-based CMF, since launching the inaugural annual show in 1988.

" We could not have the concerts for three years between 1995 and 1997 due to unavoidable reasons but have continued on an annual basis before and after that," said a spokesman for the organization.

Country Road 10 will feature top Sri Lankan and foreign stars. Those billed to perform are the Cosmic Rays, Mariazelle, Anton Gunatillake, Flame and top German acts - the Dirk Mavericks Band and Katya Kaye, a female country/folk solo artiste.

The Mavericks band, whose leader Dirk has been performing at the past three to four concerts, will also include Steve Bohn, an accomplished American pedal steel guitarist, who performed at the Country Road concert in 1992 and was a hit with his rendering of a couple of Credence Clearwater Revival and Johnny Cash songs.

The concert will be held at the Trans Asia Hotel on Sunday, October 15 and the organizers have promised a tight but fun-filled evening of entertainment. It is again a concert for children and all the funds raised that evening would go to UNICEF, the international children's agency, to support needy children's projects in Sri Lanka.

The main sponsors are Ceylinco Insurance Ltd and Sri Lankan Airlines who are providing complimentary tickets for all foreign artistes. The co-sponsors are host hotel Trans Asia, TNL Lite and Dynavision (electronic sponsors), and The Sunday Times as the media sponsor.

The CMF was launched in Sri Lanka in 1988 as a non-profit outfit with three objectives - promoting country and western and folk music, raising awareness on children's rights and raising funds for needy children.

Since then, it has organised a range of activities, the most important being an annual concert - " Country Road". This 2-3 hour concert of country and folk music is held in October to coincide with International Children's Day, which falls during that month. 

The CMF has raised nearly a million rupees for poor children in Sri Lanka with the proceeds being channelled through UNICEF for projects that have included simple but crucial needs like drinking water and pre-school buildings. The CMF-UNICEF concerts have helped to raise public awareness on children's rights and needs through music plus raise funds for these projects. Perhaps the most important message of the CMF concerts has been the need to help children, particularly those affected by war or poverty.

" What we have raised in cash through these concerts is probably a drop in the ocean for needy children in Sri Lanka. But what is more important is that we are eternally building bridges between people with means and children in need; between a private sector with means and children in need. That we believe has been the driving force and message of our concerts," the spokesman said.

The CMF is perhaps unique in the sense that it is the only music organization in this part of the world that has dedicated all its proceeds to children for UNICEF projects. Its motto is - 'Dedicated to helping the needy through music'. Dozens of musicians from Sri Lanka, Germany, the United States, Australia and the Maldives have performed free at past CMF concerts - all for the sake of children in Sri Lanka.

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