HAVANMA, 18 April The staff and families of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Cuba joined by members of the Sri Lankan community and students celebrated Sinhala & Tamil New Year ( “Aluth Avurudhu” in Sinhala and “Puththandu” in Tamil ) on 14th April at the chancery premises in Havana in a truly festive atmosphere resembling traditional new year celebrations back in their motherland.
It all began after the exchange of new year greetings with one another followed by lighting the ceremonial oil lamp by Ambassador and staff, members of the community, students and well-wishers, heralding the dawn of yet another traditional new year. As it is customary, lighting of hearth, boiling of milk, preparation of milk rice and partake in the traditional Sri Lankan sweet meats took place at the auspicious times in a spirit of unity, harmony and solidarity.
As it was no exception this time too, the students and well-wishers gathered for the occasion, took part enthusiastically in the traditional new year games and festivities which included, breaking the pot, placing the eye on the elephant, lime & spoon, bun eating, tug o war, fancy dress parade and beauty queen contest, among many other fun filled activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Dissanayake thanked members of the community ,students and well-wishers for being present throughout the festival and for their active support and contribution to promote Sri Lanka’s unique traditions, customs, festivals etc. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador accompanied by his wife, together with Attaché, Yoshitha Wijesooriya and Embassy staff made all the arrangements to make the day – long festival a complete success.
In keeping with Sri Lankan age old traditions, all the guests, community members, students and well-wishers were treated to a sumptuous traditional Sri Lankan lunch and savories specially prepared for the occasion.