six months of hard work the English Literary Association of St.
Joseph's College is set to present an adaptation of 'The Prince
of Egypt'. It is a tale of love and hate, hope and
courage, freedom and suffering, power and destiny.
is designed, directed and choreographed by actor/director/playwright
One of the
more radical interpretations of the popular biblical tale of Moses,
the script portrays the emotions of the two men who after being
raised as brothers are forced to battle each other when they realize
that all that they had believed in was a lie. Their common goal
of building a greater Egypt together as brothers has become a distant
Watch as a
babe who was placed in the care of the River Nile, grows up to be
the man who reunites a broken race with their forgotten God. One
God, the God of the Hebrews, battles with the might of the greatest
nation in the world. One God against the hundred or
so Gods of Egypt. One God to free a nation from a life of suffering
One man against
his brother. One man against his own people's doubt. One man against
his own skepticism and disbelief. The Prince of Egypt is a clash
of the titans which will leave you spellbound.
Moses who leaves
his home in anguish and shame must rediscover himself in the land
of the Midian. He must learn to stop judging his life through the
worldly eyes of man and to start looking at it through heaven's
eyes. He must learn to love again as he re-encounters the woman
he met under different circumstances. He must learn that life sometimes
turns out as one cannot foresee. Lessons not only for Moses, but
for every human being.
This is a story
of epic proportions, and one that will captivate the hearts of anyone
of any age. Watch with awe as the River Nile flows with all its
might, the nine plagues torment Egypt and the Red Sea is divided
in two. All this is brought to life with an able technical team,
which includes Thushan Dias who will provide computerized lighting,
and Ranga Dassanayake who will provide the soundtrack for the play.
The play will also have a special guest appearance by Juanita Beling,
an actress and singer who has made her name in major musicals.
Be at the Lionel
Wendt on February 13, 14 and 15 as the English Literary Union of
St. Joseph's College, Colombo 10, brings to life their interpretation
of The Prince of Egypt. You will never see Moses through the same
R. Rafiq experiences a taste of Japan
My earliest memory of raw food is gagging on an uncooked
prawn which had somehow managed to find itself into my mouth, at
around the age of four. Since then I have studiously avoided eating
anything more wiggly than a carrot without cooking it first. Imagine
then my horror when my family conspired to reintroduce me to the
joys of raw food.
No, it's not
because the price of gas has increased and we can't afford to cook
our food before eating it anymore, (although that possibility doesn't
seem too unlikely in the near future). It has to do with the wonders
of Japanese cuisine and its culinary zenith: SUSHI.
are firm believers of the adage that the best way to cook a fish
is not to. They even have a proverb for it - 'Eat it raw first of
all, then grill it and as a last resort boil it'. They seem to have
taken this so seriously that anything from seafood to horse meat
they will eat raw.
the magic of sushi, let's go back to 7th century Japan when sushi
was first introduced. In the days of ancient inconvenience (no fridges,
televisions, cars, etc.), sushi making was a method of preserving
fish. People preserved raw fish by packing it between layers of
rice and salt and weighting it with a stone. As it fermented, the
rice produced lactic acid which pickled the fish and kept it from
spoiling. The process would take upto a year, after which the fish
was eaten and the rice was discarded.
In the mid
17th century a doctor named Matsumoto Yoshichi hit upon the idea
of adding vinegar to sushi rice, which gave a pleasing tartness
to the rice and fish and reduced the time necessary to wait before
eating sushi, to about two months.
In 1824 an
enterprising man named Hanaya Yohei conceived of the idea of sliced,
raw seafood at its freshest, served on small fingers of vinegared
rice - an instant improvement on Matsumoto's dish, and the beginning
of modern day sushi.
of sushi which means it can be eaten as a snack or a meal led to
the setting up of roadside stalls where sushi was served. Customers
would wipe their fingers on a curtain hanging by the side of the
stall after eating, and the dirtier the curtain, the more popular
warp to 21st century Sri Lanka and into Pier 56 and Nihonbashi,
two of the five restaurants in Colombo featuring sushi bars offering
a variety of delectable dishes.
CEO of the Nihonbashi Japanese restaurant and son of a Sri Lankan
father and Japanese mother gives me an insight into Japanese cooking.
"The essence of Japanese cooking are the ingredients. You cannot
substitute and you cannot settle for anything less than the best."
And for sushi this means having nothing but the freshest fish. "If
your fish smells like fish, then its half rotting. The freshest
fish has a mild and pleasing aroma and makes all the difference
Being raw and
uncooked, sushi could contain harmful bacteria that might otherwise
be destroyed while being cooked. Research has found a link between
sushi consumption and a high incidence of stomach cancer in the
Japanese population. It's important that you only eat sushi from
a reputed restaurant where you are confident the fish is clean and
But sushi can
also be considered healthy. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which
are known to be protective against heart disease and can be labelled
a low-fat food. The nori or seaweed is rich in vitamins and minerals
and iodine of which Sri Lankans have a low intake. Wasabi or the
pale green horseradish which is a necessary accompaniment to sushi
is known to act as a food poisoning antidote. If the fish is eaten
in a sushi meal of rice, seaweed and avocado it is a perfectly balanced
low calorie meal of carbohydrate, protein and fat.
Ali, co-owner of the Pier 56 restaurant admits that sushi eating
is something of an acquired taste. "Not everybody who tries
it likes it, but certainly a lot of our customers come back for
more." Sushi, in fact, refers to the rice which the fish is
wrapped in. The raw fish itself is called sashimi. "Maki sushi
is the sushi roll, and then we have nigiri sushi, which is raw seafood
placed on top of a ball of rice." Both Pier 56 and Nihonbashi
offer a wide variety of sushi ingredients, with salmon, tuna, crab
and shrimp for the timid while the bold can opt for eel, octopus
and ark shell, which can cost upto Rs. 1500 per portion.
is not an easy art to learn and for a sushi chef to be considered
at the top of his art he would need at least three years of training.
Filleting the fish and making the vinegar rice are the two most
difficult aspects of sushi-making. There are many different and
impossibly precise cuts used for different fish, including the most
difficult paper thin slice, so thin the pattern on a piece of china
can be seen through it. Original sushi knives are made out of steel
that were once used to make samurai swords and are extremely sharp
and durable. Once the fish is filleted it is wrapped together with
other ingredients such as avocado, cucumber and crab in rice and
seaweed and rolled and cut.
If you are
to eat sushi you should first arm yourself with sushi etiquette.
Smoking in a sushi bar is generally frowned upon, for the same reason
that meals are not cooked there. The odours obliterate the delicate
flavour of the fish. Sushi is not finger food and should be eaten
with chopsticks. But this is easier said than done as I found out.
You will be served sushi with wasabi, ginger and soy sauce. Mix
the wasabi in soy sauce, briefly dip, do not soak, the sushi fish
side in the sauce and put the whole thing into your mouth. Don't
try to eat it bite by bite as it will most definitely disintegrate
all over your skirt. Eat the sliced ginger in between to clean your
palate. Order sake or a light beer to drink.
At Pier 56,
I watch Ilangatillake, the sushi chef, make me a roll. Despite Keshini
trying to convince me to try the rainbow roll or the California
roll and a number of other colourfully named rolls, I opt for a
plain salmon roll.
the condescending smiles, I struggle for a while with the chopsticks
before giving it up, keep a paper napkin at the ready, and plunge
the roll into my mouth. I keep chewing waiting for the raw fish
to attack my taste buds, but the attack never comes. The salmon
is sliced in such a way that it melts in my mouth.
- I just might try it again.