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FeaturedGeneralYouth Time

The Fandemic

fandemic

Due to the sudden outbreak of Covid-19, the entire country went on lockdown as a safety measure at the end of March. As people who were busy with our university studies and of course Rotaract work, adjusting ourselves to this new lifestyle certainly wasn’t easy. At a time when we were bored out of our minds staying at home during the lockdown, the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo Faculty of Management and Finance brought us a refreshing experience – The Fandemic – An online quiz series based on 4 fandoms.

I and my fellow members from our club were really excited to try this out since we saw the first poster and the teaser video. We even talked about which quizzes we will be choosing to participate and even considered binge-watching them all over again! We were able to see how much hype it set among others as well when the WhatsApp groups were created to communicate the participants for each quiz. The group chat was flooding with messages and GIFs related to each quiz and it was really fun to get to know the fellow crazy fans of your favourite show/movie franchise!
The first quiz was on the 15th of April, based on F.R.I.E.N.D.S., the quiz I was waiting to try out the most. Being a die-hard fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S., I pretty much knew a lot about the series starting from the dialogues, so I was excited yet nervous to see the questions.

I got into the final 50 along with Rtr. Thisura Ramanayake. The final 50 were divided into groups of 10 and only 2 out of the 10 were selected for the final round from each group. There were some tricky questions as well; for example, “When did Chandler’s father put on a Santa suit?”, “Who’s the owner of Rosita?”. After a competitive round, I was placed 2nd in my group making my way to the finals.

The questions in the final round were much more challenging. The fellow finalists knew the show to the core and gave a really good fight till the end. At last, Rtr. Riz Liyanage from the Rotaract Club of Faculty of Science University of Colombo became the champion of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. quiz – the ultimate F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fan. I was placed 4th overall which truly made my day.

The second quiz was on the 19th of April, based on Harry Potter. All the Potterheads, including myself, were eager to test our knowledge in Harry Potter. I don’t think there’s anyone who didn’t binge-watch the Harry Potter franchise during this lockdown, and this quiz sure made all participants relive the enjoyable moments of the series. Me, Rtr. Thisura Ramanayake, Rtr. Rahul Jeyanthan and Rtr. Asel Gunaratne got into the final 50 and Rtr. Rahul snuck through to the final round. While he ended up claiming the 3rd place, Sheron Felix became the champion – claiming to be the biggest Potterhead of all.

The third quiz was on the 23rd of April, based on Marvel. I really enjoyed the Avengers movie franchise so I thought of giving this a try as well. However, the quiz was based on movies like the X men series, Deadpool, TV series and comics which I wasn’t very familiar with. So, this quiz was comparatively hard and I couldn’t go beyond the first round. Rtr. Hasitha Jayasuriya and Rtr. Naadir Thassim were able to move into the final 50. Rtr. Adheeban Gowrishankar from the Rotaract Club of Faculty of Science of University of Colombo became the champion and proved that no one can outsmart him when it came to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The fourth quiz was on the 26th of April, based on Game of Thrones. This was the only quiz I didn’t participate since I haven’t watched the show. However, my fellow club members participated and Rtr. Asel Gunartne was able to make it to the final 50. Ravindu Shehan emerged champion in the quiz and certainly made his fandom proud.

The show wasn’t over yet… after the four champions were selected from each fandom to the surprise of the participants including the four champions, a final quiz was held for them to battle one last time for the Ultimate Throne – THE FANDEMIC – ENDGAME!

The Fandemic – Endgame was held on the 27th of April, and the quiz was streamed live on Facebook. I watched the live stream and the finalists competed really well. In the end, Sheron Felix went past his fellow competitors to win The Fandemic.

The Fandemic – An online quiz series based on 4 fandoms was certainly a refreshing experience to Rotaractors as well as non Rotaractors and made our boring lives rather enjoyable during this quarantine period. Kudos to team FMF for coming up with this creative idea and for putting a lot of work to come up with a total of 29 quizzes – it sure must not have been easy. This made us relive the good moments we had with the 4 fandoms and the credit certainly goes to team FMF for that.

Rtr. Vinuri Ramanayake

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FeaturedGeneralYouth Time

Hotdog Showdown

hotdog

Would you believe me if I said that there is an event where you get to eat any amount of hotdogs you want? Sounds like every foodie’s dream come true right?

Well then, the place you should have been was at Green Path on the 15th of February, where we got the opportunity to gobble down hot dogs. Its called the Hot Dog Showdown and yes you guessed it right, it’s a competition where you have to eat hot dogs. This is an event organized by the Rotaract Club of Informatics Institute of Technology and the challenge is to eat any amount of hotdogs you can within a time span of 2 minutes. Sounds good right? Well, there’s more to it. They give amazing prizes too. That’s just not it. There is a wide variety of food stalls, celebrity guest appearances, a motor show that brought in many sports cars along with the presence of Dilantha Malagamuwa and many more. The organisers had managed to entertain everyone who attended. Foodie or not, it was an evening to remember.

If I dive a bit deep into this project, the proceedings from this event are invested in a community service project named E-mithudama done by the Rotaract Club of IIT. It is based around the core objective of helping school children from rural, underprivileged areas of the country- to support and uplift their computer literacy.

The Hot Dog Showdown is quite a famous event in the Rotaract calendar. It is an event where most rotaractors come together. It is a place where memories are made.  This year, there were many performances from La Bandos, Watalappan and a music band from IIT. This event also featured a dancing item and the famous Srilankan celebrity IRAJ.

This years event was a little more special to us because of Rtr. Suwithi, one of our club members won the 3rd place in the women’s category. Furthermore, it was seen that the men’s winner won for the 5th consecutive time which made the audience awestruck. Overall it was a great event and an event that shouldn’t be missed.

Rtr. Nuwanthi Manapperuma

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FeaturedGeneral

Drools – Vet Talks

drools

Rotaractors are an unstoppable species. Their ability to find ways to accomplish the need to fill the gaps in society is unfathomable! And the project, Drools- Vet Talks organized by the Rotaract Club of ICBT is such an initiative that sprung up to educate people in aiding their pet animals during the quarantine.

Receiving a warm welcome from Rtr. Methmi Pinnagoda, the project commenced through an online platform, adapting to the present circumstances. The guest speakers for the day, the founders of the Pet Vet Clinic, Dr Nalinika Obeysekera and Dr Janaki Collure started off with impact of COVID-19 on animals, clearing the common questionnaires that run about in our minds.

“Can us, humans catch the virus from our pets!?” was one of them. Though cats have the ability to get infected from humans and show the ability to spread among other cats, it is highly unlikely and there is no evidence so as to humans getting infected from pet animals. Dr Nalinika also went out to explain that dogs show more resistance to the virus and do not possess the ability to spread it among their kind or humans.

Rtr. Tashya Wickramarachchi then opened the platform to Dr Janaki to share her knowledge in Pharmacology and her years of clinical practice experience in several countries in enlightening us with the basic medical treatments that can be followed at home till help arrives. Humbly did she go on to make us aware that Panadol nor Panadeine like painkillers are NEVER given to cats but to dogs and introduction of jeewani (5ml at a time) with respective to vomiting and diarrhoea.

Our loved buddies, especially puppies and kittens and can get themselves in quite risky situations with their playful nature! Munching into poisonous substances is the worst of all. Making pets swallow a considerable amount of charcoal is the key, according to Dr Janaki, as it absorbs poison.

Dr Nalinika, whose love for animals is inestimable, reminded us of the love and joy that our pet animals bring about in our lives, encouraging us to use this time to build a deeper connection. Teaching us to prepare them for our full-time absence when COVID-19 dies down as well.

Thus, ended an impactful project from the Rotaract Club of ICBT, serving justice to all our animal friends and enlightening pet owners not only from Sri Lanka but Pakistan and India as well! Kudos to everyone who put the event together!

Rtr. Niflaz Nuhuman

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FeaturedGeneralYouth Time

Sky is the limit

Sky is the Limit

Passion is something you desire to have or do. We all have our own passions but many of us rarely chase them. But also there are many of them among us who have made their passion their profession. It is a difficult road but a road which will lead you towards many rewards and worthy experiences in life. Mahela Jayawardena is a prime example who worked hard to make his dreams come true. He is a hero and an icon for me as well as all the cricket fans out there. It has been a dream to meet him in person for a long time, which is why I decided to attend “Sky is the Limit” organized by the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo, Faculty of Management and Finance.

He came up to the podium after he was introduced and he started his speech by taking us on a journey through his remarkable cricket career. He mentioned many incidents which happened in his life which taught him many lessons. He faced a lot of hardships in life, especially when he lost his brother at the age of 18, he explained to us how it changed him and made him realize that there are more things to life than cricket. While his initial dream was to represent the National Cricket team remained, he built another dream which is to build a cancer hospital. He was able to build a cancer hospital in Maharagama with the support of the government and many others and he pioneered in building another one in Thilippalei as well.

He explained a lot of important life lessons to us using many of his experiences as a cricketer. When he was explaining his attitude in the field and towards cricket, he said “Control what you can control” which really caught my mind. It may seem like just five words but it has a lot of meaning behind it. He said that if you can focus on things which you can work on rather than things which are out of your control and beyond your reach, you can narrow down your focus areas which will help you to work on things within your reach more, and be successful with less frustration. In this way, we can utilize our time effectively without wasting it unnecessarily on things which are not worth your time. He said that this helped him to improve on his game a lot especially when playing in foreign conditions as it always presents batsmen an added challenge.

He spoke about a few values he believes everyone should nourish in their lives which will stand as pillars holding our lives on it. Honesty, respect, hard work and ethics are the values he said that all of us should focus on. He explained all these values using different examples in his cricketing life. It is when he also said “You cannot demand respect; you need to earn it” which was another important thing that caught my mind. He said that it doesn’t matter who it is, but if you give the proper respect to them, then you will be respected as well.

Then it was the Question and Answer session. The audience asked some difficult questions from him but he answered all of them with patience and a smile just like how he used to bat all those long test innings. Then there was a small-time for everyone to take a picture with him. Everyone in the audience was lined up with a lot of excitement to take a picture with their cricket hero. I was finally able to reach the top of the queue to take a picture with him which was one of the primary objectives for all of us who attended the session. It was a great session where I’m certain that everyone had a lot of lessons to learn which can help us make our dreams come true as well.

I’d like to thank the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo, Faculty of Management and Finance for organizing this insightful session with such an inspirational personality and giving cricket fans like us an opportunity to meet him in person.

Rtr. Thisura Ramanayake

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FeaturedGeneral

The Cuisine of Sri Lanka

The cuisine of Sri Lanka – Website

Sri Lanka boasts of unique cuisine, shaped by the fruits and vegetables to be found in its abundant garden, and by recipes brought to Sri Lanka by traders and invaders. The Indians, Arabs, Malays, Portuguese, Dutch and English have all left a mark on the Sri Lankan diet.

Curries in Sri Lanka can be very hot indeed although adjustments are often made to suit sensitive western palates. If you find yourself to have taken a mouthful of something that is simply too hot, a gulp of water does not bring you relief. Instead, that’s like throwing fuel on a fire. Far better is a forkful of rice, or better yet some cooling yogurt or curd or even a cucumber. Another surprisingly effective strategy is to sprinkle plain grated coconut over the curry- that’s what those side dishes are for. On the other hand, if the curry is not hot enough the solution to that is to simply have some pol sambol which is a red-hot side dish made with grated coconut, chili and spices.

Sri Lankan rice and curry usually include a variety of small curry dishes either vegetables, meat or fish. Chicken, fish or dried fish are very much popular whereas beef and mutton are also available.

Vegetarians would not have trouble finding tasty food as some unique Sri Lankan vegetable curries are banana (ash plantains), banana flower, breadfruit, jackfruit, mangoes, potatoes, beans, and pumpkins. An accompaniment of mallung (shredded green leaves with spices, lightly fried) is common, and the meal would not be complete without parippu (red lentil dhal) or another pulse curry.

The usual Indian curry varieties are also available in the Sri Lankan cuisine, including the South Indian vegetarian thali and the delicate North Indian biriyani. Also from the northern Jaffna region comes odiyal kool, a seafood stew that is rich in flavor.

The spices used to bring out the flavors of Sri Lankan curries are all made locally. Spices, particularly cinnamon are the reason why Europeans were interested in Sri Lanka. The essential ingredients in most curries are chili powder, fresh chilies, turmeric, cinnamon quills, curry powder, curry leaves, pandanus leaves, garlic, coconut milk and sometimes crushed maldive fish.

Disappointingly, and despite the huge amount of rice eaten in Sri Lanka, it is often bland. It generally has a musty smell and tastes just like cardboard. Try the delicious partly hulled red rice instead!

Coastal towns of Sri Lanka provide the whole country with fresh fish. Prawns are also widespread. And in Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and Tangalle you can find delicious crab and lobster. A popular dish in the south of the island is ambul thiyal, a pickle usually made from tuna, which is translated as ‘sour fish curry’.

Other unique Sri Lankan dishes are hoppers and string hoppers. Hoppers are usually eaten for breakfast or as an evening snack. A regular hopper is rather like a small bowl-shaped pancake, skillfully fried over a high flame and sometimes served with an egg fried into the middle or with honey and yogurt. String hoppers are tangled little circles of steamed noodles used as a curry dip instead of rice. They make a filling meal at breakfast or dinner.

Also a very popular breakfast dish among Sri Lankans is fresh bread dipped in a curry with thin gravy called hodhi usually dhal curry.

Another rice substitute that can be found is pittu, a mixture of flour and grated coconut steamed in a bamboo mold so that it comes out shaped like a cylinder.

Lamprais, a popular dish of Dutch origin, is made of rice that’s boiled in meat stock then added to vegetables and meat and slowly baked in a banana-leaf wrapping. It is much more appetizing than the literal translation ‘lump rice’ suggests.

At teatime you can dine lightly on a plate of short eats. This is the local term for a selection of ‘Chinese’ rolls even though they are not really like Chinese spring rolls. The range of short eats would include meat or vegetable patties, cutlets, pastries and vadai (made with lentils or flour). At these shops a significant amount of short eats are served and the bill is added up according to how many are left.

A filling snack, which you can find mainly in street-side huts, is the rotti, a small parcel of anything you fancy wrapped up in a sort of elasticated, doughy pancake. A rotti chopped up and mixed with vegetables (or meat or egg) is called a kottu rotti. If you eat kottu rotti every day, you’ll soon become attuned to the chop-chop sounds of the kottu rotti maker at the local hotel in the evening.

Sri Lanka is well known throughout South Asia for locally originated sweets and desserts. Desserts are usually served as parts of main meals, whereas sweets are consumed at tea times. Unique Sri Lankan desserts include wattalappam which is an egg pudding of Malay origin that’s vaguely caramel-like in taste and curd with honey or curd with treacle. Curd is locally known as kiri-pani and is soothing at any time of the day. Curd is a rich and tasty yogurt made from buffalo milk. It comes in a shallow clay pot with a handy carrying rope which makes  it so attractive that you’ll hate to throw it away. The treacle is called kittul and is a syrup extracted from the kitul palm. When boiled and set to form hard blocks you’ll have jaggery, an all-purpose candy, and sweetener.

Kiri bath is a dessert of rice, cooked in milk. It’s served at weddings and is traditionally the first solid food fed to babies. It is also enjoyed as a tasty dish with a sambol or jaggery served at special occasions.

Like Indians, Sri Lankans waste no opportunity to indulge in their sweet tooth by sweets known as rasakavili. You could try kavum, a spiced flour and treacle battercake fried in coconut oil or aluva, a rice flour, treacle and cashew-nut fudge. Another Sri Lankan dessert specialty is the dark and delicious kalu dodol made up of coconut milk, jaggery and cashew nuts. These desserts are traditional sweets for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

Buddhism and Ayurvedic medicine have contributed to nourish the Sri Lankan cuisine. This is evident from the customs and ethics that prevail in the country. Further, different beliefs, blessings and worships have also contributed to nurturing the country’s food habits. The Sri Lankan traditional cuisine is an exclusive and unparalleled cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.

Rtr. Sandithi Jagoda

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව අද්විතීය ආහාරපානවලින් සමන්විතය. එයින් බහුල ප්‍රමාණයක් අප ගෙවතු උයනේ වගා කල හැකි පලතුරු හා එළවළු වලින් සෑදිය හැක. තවද ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට වෙළඳුන් සහ ආක්‍රමණිකයන් විසින් වට්ටෝරු ගෙන එන ලදී. ඉන්දියානුවන්, අරාබිවරුන්, මැලේ ජාතිකයින්, පෘතුගීසි, ලන්දේසි සහ ඉංග්‍රීසි යන සියල්ලන්ම ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ආහාර වේලෙහි සලකුණක් තබා ඇත.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ව්‍යංජන සැර බවින් අධික වේ. එබැවින් බටහිර තාලයට ගැලපෙන පරිදි වෙනස්කම් සිදු කළ ඇත. අධික සැර යමක් මුඛයට ගත් විට, වතුර පොදක් ඔබට සහනයක් ගෙන දෙන්නේ නැත. එය ගින්නක් මත ඉන්ධන විසි කිරීමක් වැනිය. මෙවැනි අවස්ථාවකදී වඩා හොඳ විසඳුමක් වන්නේ බත් පොදක්, සිසිල් යෝගට් හෝ කිරි කෝප්පයක් , පිපිඤ්ඤා ගෙඩියක් වැනි දෙයකි. තවත් පුදුම හිතෙන උපාය මාර්ගයක් වන්නේ ව්‍යංජන මත ගාන ලද පොල් ඉසිමය. අනෙක් අතට, ව්‍යංජනය ප්‍රමාණවත් තරම් සැර නොවන්නේ නම් එයට විසඳුම වන්නේ ගාන ලද පොල්, මිරිස් සහ කුළුබඩු වලින් සාදන ලද අතුරු කෑමක් වන පොල් සම්බල් ටිකක් සාදාගැනීමයි.

බත් සමග අනුභව කරන සාමාන්‍ය ව්‍යංජන එළවළු, මස්, මාළු හෝ වියළි මාළු වේ. කුකුළු මස්, මාළු හෝ වියළි මාළු ඉතා ජනප්‍රිය වන අතර හරක් මස් සහ එළුමස් ද තිබේ.

අළු කෙසෙල්, කෙසෙල් මල, කොස්, අඹ, අර්තාපල්, බෝංචි සහ වට්ටක්කා වැනි සුවිශේෂී ශ්‍රී ලාංකික එළවළු ව්‍යංජන නිසා නිර්මාංශිකයින්ට රසවත් ආහාර සොයා ගැනීමට අපහසු නොවනු ඇත. මැල්ලුම් සහ පරිප්පු නොමැතිව ආහාර වේලක් සම්පූර්ණ නොවේ.

දකුණු ඉන්දියානු නිර්මාංශ තාලි ව්‍යංජනය සහ උතුරු ඉන්දියානු බුරියානි ඇතුළු සුපුරුදු ඉන්දියානු ව්‍යංජන ප්‍රභේද බොහෝමයක් ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ආහාරවල තිබේ. උතුරේ යාපනය ප්‍රදේශයේ ඔඩියල් කූල් නම් මාළු ඉස්ටුව රසයෙන් පොහොසත් වේ.

ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ව්‍යංජන වල රසය ඉස්මතු කිරීමට භාවිතා කරන කුළුබඩු සියල්ලම දේශීයව සාදා ගනු ඇත. යුරෝපීයයන් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව කෙරෙහි උනන්දුවක් දැක්වීමට හේතුවද මෙයයි. බොහෝ ව්‍යංජන වල අත්‍යවශ්‍ය අමුද්‍රව්‍ය වන්නේ මිරිස් කුඩු, නැවුම් මිරිස්, කහ, කුරුඳු, කරපිංචා, පැන්ඩනස් කොළ, සුදුළූණු, පොල් කිරි සහ විටක තලා දැමූ උම්බලකඩය.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ විශාල සහල් ප්‍රමාණයක් අනුභව කළ නමූත්, එයට කාඩ්බෝඩ් රසයක් ඇත. එය වෙනුවට අර්ධ වශයෙන් පොලාගත් රතු සහල් අනුභව කරන්න!

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ වෙරළබඩ නගර මුළු රටටම නැවුම් මසුන් සපයයි. ඉස්සන් ද බහුලව දක්නට ලැබේ. හික්කඩුව, උණවටුන සහ තංගල්ල වැනි ස්ථානවලින්,  ඔබට රසවත් කකුළුවන් හා පොකිරිස්සන් සොයා ගත හැක. දිවයිනේ දකුණේ ජනප්‍රිය ආහාරයක් වන්නේ ටූනා වලින් සාදන ලද අම්බුල් තියාල් ආහාරයයි.

අනෙකුත් සුවිශේෂී ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කෑම වන්නේ ආප්ප සහ ඉදි ආප්ප ය. ආප්ප සාමාන්‍යයෙන් උදේ ආහාරය සඳහා හෝ සවස කෑමක් ලෙස අනුභව කරනු ලැබේ. සාමාන්‍ය ආප්පයක් කුඩා පාත්‍ර හැඩැති පෑන්කේකයක් වැනි ය. ඉහළ ගින්නක් මත බදින අතර සමහර විට බිත්තරයක් මැදට බදින ලද වේ. එය මී පැණි හෝ යෝගට් සමග අනුභව කරනු ලැබේ. ඉදි ආප්ප යනු බත් ආදේශකයකි. එය තැම්බූ නූඩ්ල්ස් හා සමාන කුඩා රවුම්ක් ය. මෙය උදේ ආහාරයක් හෝ රාත්‍රී ආහාරයක් ලෙස පිළියෙළ කරනු ලැබේ.

ශ්‍රී ලාංකියන් අතර ඉතා ජනප්‍රිය උදෑසන ආහාරයක් වන්නේ නැවුම් පරිප්පු ව්‍යංජනයක පොඟවා ගත් පාන්ය. තවත් බත් ආදේශකයක් වන්නේ පිට්ටු. එය තැම්බූ පිටි සහ ගාන ලද පොල් මිශ්‍රණයක් වේ. එය සිලින්ඩරාකාර හැඩයකින් සමන්විත වේ.

සවස් කාලයට ඔබට ‘shorteats’ පිඟානක් ආහාරට ගත හැකිය. ‘Chinese rolls’ යනු භාවිතා වන දේශීය යෙදුමයි. ‘Shorteats’ පිඟානකට පැටිස්, කට්ලට්, පේස්ට්‍රි සහ වඩේ ඇතුළත් වේ. මෙම සාප්පු වලදී ‘shorteats’ පිඟානක ඉතිරිව ඇති ප්‍රමාණය අනුව බිල්පත එකතු කරනු ලැබේ.

ඔබට වීදි දෙපැත්තේ පැල්පත්වල සොයා ගත හැකි කෑමක් වන්නේ රොටි ය. ඔබ කැමති ඕනෑම දෙයක් පිටි

සමග ගුලි කර පෑන්කේකයක් ලෙස ඔතා ගත හැක. රොටී, කපාගත් එළවළු (හෝ මස් හෝ බිත්තර) සමඟ මිශ්‍ර කළ විට කොත්තු රොටි ලෙස හැඳින්වේ. ඔබ සෑම දිනකම කොත්තු අනුභව කරන්නේ නම්, කොත්තු රොටි නිෂ්පාදකයාගේ ‘චොප්-චොප්’ ශබ්දයට ඉක්මනින් හුරු වේ.

රසකැවිලි සහ අතුරුපස සඳහා ශ්‍රී ලංකාව දකුණු ආසියාව පුරා ප්‍රසිද්ධය. අතුරුපස සාමාන්‍යයෙන් ප්‍රධාන ආහාර වේලෙහි කොටසක් ලෙස පරිභෝජනය කරන අතර තේ වේලාවන්හි රසකැවිලි පරිභෝජනය කරනු ලැබේ. අද්විතීය ශ්‍රී ලාංකික අතුරුපස අතරට වටලප්පම් ඇතුළත් වන අතර එය මැලේ සම්භවයක් ඇති බිත්තර පුඩිමකි. එය කැරමල් රසයෙන් යුක්ත වේ. මීකිරි ද ඉතාමත් ප්‍රසිද්ධ අතුරුපසකි. දේශීයව කිරි-පැණි ලෙස හැඳින්වෙන අතර දවසේ ඕනෑම වේලාවක එය අනුභව කළ හැක. මීකිරි යනු මී හරකුන්ගෙන් සාදන ලද රසවත් යෝගට් වර්ගයකි. එය ආකර්ෂණීය නොගැඹුරු මැටි බඳුනක මිලදී ගත හැක. කිතුල් පැණි ලෙස හඳුන්වන්නේ කිතුල් අත්ලෙන් ලබාගත් සිරප් වර්ගයකටය. තම්බා කුට්ටි කළ සූදානම් කළ විට ඔබට හකුරු ලැබේ. කිරි බත් යනු කිරි වලින් පිසින ලද ආහාරයකි. එය මංගල උත්සවවලදී පිරිනමන අතර සාම්ප්‍රදායිකව ළදරුවන්ට ලබා දෙන පළමු ආහාරයද වේ. විශේෂ අවස්ථා වලදී පිරිනමන ලද කිරි බත් ලුණුමිරිස් හෝ හකුරු සමග භුක්ති විඳිය හැක.

ඉන්දියානුවන් මෙන්, ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයන් රසකාවිලි බොහෝමයක් සාදයි. අලුවා යනු පොල්තෙල්වල බඳින ලද පිටි සහ පැණි මිශ්‍රණයකි. තවත් ශ්‍රී ලාංකික අතුරුපස විශේෂයක් වන්නේ පොල් කිරි, හකුරු සහ කජු වලින් සාදන ලද රසවත් කළු දොදොල් ය. මේ අතුරුපස සියල්ලම සිංහල හා දෙමළ අලුත් අවුරුද්දේ සාම්ප්‍රදායික රසකැවිලි වේ.

බුද්ධාගම සහ ආයුර්වේද වෛද්‍ය විද්‍යාව ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ආහාර වට්ටෝරුව වැඩි දියුණු කිරීමට දායක වී තිබේ. රට තුළ පවතින සිරිත් විරිත් හා ආචාර ධර්ම වලින් මෙය පැහැදිලි වේ. තවද, විවිධ විශ්වාසයන්, ආශිර්වාද සහ නමස්කාරයන් රටේ ආහාර පුරුදු වැඩි දියුණු කිරීමට දායක වී ඇත. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ සාම්ප්‍රදායික ආහාරපාන වට්ටෝරුව සුවිශේෂී හා අසමසම සංස්කෘතික උරුමයකි.

Translated by Rtr. Suwithi Karunasekara

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FeaturedGeneralOur Projects

My Cola Conquer Colombo 2020

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-07 at 3.18.33 AM

9th of February 2020. A day much eagerly anticipated by the rotaracters of RACALBS. From the meticulous organization and execution by the organizing committee and the careful pre-planning by many of our participants, Conquer Colombo is by far one of the most hyped events of the Rotaract calendar. Setting the bar higher than ever before, My Cola Conquer Colombo 2020 was back with more new twists and challenges of all forms , be it rowing challenges, electric scooter challenges and even VR gaming challenges. This grand scale project involving almost 500 participants was initiated with the motive of aiding of the club’s major community service project “Project Life”. This project targets at combatting Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in several affected communities in Killinochchi  by aiding for the building of Reverse Osmosis systems. Since its inauguration in 2013, Conquer Colombo has been more than successful in aiding project life along with providing a unique experience to its participants.

Having run a strong PR campaign teasing this year’s participants with past, present and futuristic videos of Colombo city, This year’s Conquer Colombo ran the theme of “Time Travel” where the participants took part in a time based adventure in order to save the apocalyptic city of Colombo. The storyline was ingrained in each of the three phases (namely past, present and future phase) and also within each challenge which included a unique story of its own. Shifting CC paradigms every year, this year’s event included the concept of hunting for “Key Fragments” which was a first in CC history. Completing  each challenge in a phase provided a hint to the location where the key fragment relevant for the phase was hidden. Once the participants have found the 3 fragments (which pieced together forms an QR code), it led the participant to a surprise coordinated location. This new format of the race was definitely an eye opener for many of Conquer Colombo’s veteran participants who has grown accustomed to the monotonous setting of the race. All these factors added in glamour and spice to My Cola Conquer Colombo 2020 and truly shifted the metrics of this year’s competition.

The event kickstarted with variety of small entertainment items by a few of the participants as the crowd started registering at Race Course in the morning. Following heated competition for the best themed and funkiest ride awards, everyone’s attention was taken away to the exotic cars of the Italian car enthusiasts club and the grand entrance of the 4×4 monster trucks by the Ironman team.  Following the announcement of the rules and regulations, the participants were taken by surprise by the sudden play of cryptic video. It showed an obscure time traveller fore-warning of an apocalypse in the city and that the participants must travel in time to save this mystery time traveller from a time chamber to save the city.

The cryptic message finally triggered the kick start of this much awaited race. Following a literal stampede of participants racing  to obtain their first clue sheet, teams were rushing at every direction to reach their rides and to figure out where to head first. Having  the opportunity to check up on each of the challenge locations, it was a pleasure watching the participants engage in not only heated competition but also genuine team work where each member prioritized and played according to each of their strengths. Cracking open a mystery chest at Escape The Room, speed painting two historical flags, rowing across the Beira or even fumbling on the floor playing bean bag twister,  It goes without saying that this year’s CC was truly an experience to remember for both the participants and organizers alike.

The closing ceremony capped off one of the greatest events of the Rotaract calendar on a high note. Having pieced together the 3 key fragments, many teams scrambled back to race course to  find the fabled time chamber where they witnessed the thrilling ending of the storyline. The closing ceremony started off with the commencement of the raffle draw which is one of the more awaited events during Conquer Colombo. Winners walked away with gift baskets and a variety of exciting gift vouchers. Up next came the awards for best themed, funkiest ride, Supermen and Wonder Women. Last but not the least, the top fifteen teams of Conquer Colombo 2020 were awarded with variety of exciting prizes from gift baskets to voucher. Team “Young Dumb and Broke” came in third and received a variety of amazing prizes along with an opportunity for an overnight stay at Mango House, Galle Fort. Winners of the Super men award “Team Joe-Pete” also went on to take the number 2 spot of My Cola Conquer Colombo 2020 winning an overnight stay at Jetwing hotel along with other exciting prizes. Team “Ali’s Army” topped the point list of this year’s event and went on to be crowned champions of My Cola Conquer Colombo 2020, securing 4 return air tickets to Singapore among other exciting prizes.

Providing new experiences which most participants  would have never before experienced anywhere else is what Conquer Colombo is held in high regard for. Regardless of whether participants managed to break into the top 15 or not, without any doubt, everyone left with a feeling of satisfaction and eagerness to look forward to this event again next year. From speed eating fried rice using chopsticks, mind boggling mind challenges such as the escape the room challenge to fast paced virtual reality gaming, My Cola Conquer Colombo 2020 was definitely not a day to miss. Reaching new milestones in a event ever-filled with potential, My Cola Conquer Colombo 2020 left quite the mark on the Rotaract calendar and leaving us with the anticipation of an even more awe-inspiring event next year.

Rtr. Asel Gunaratne

 

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Featured

Sri Lanka and Plastic: A match made in hell

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As Sri Lankans, I think we’ve all been overcome with intense patriotism when we see Sri Lanka being recognized internationally for something. Whether it’s being named ‘Lonely planet’s No.1 travel destination for 2019’, playing good cricket, producing world-class tea, or simply even being mentioned by a Hollywood celebrity, these moments never fail to make us feel proud of being Sri Lankan. However, as of recent times, we’ve been getting global attention for a very shameful reason. Sri Lanka has made a reputation of being one of the leading contributors to ocean plastic pollution in the world.

An Instagram photo by National Geographic, September 2019

 

A study by The Wall Street Journal, in 2010, found Sri Lanka to be the 5th largest contributor of marine plastic debris in the world. We produce, a staggering, 5 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste annually of which 640,000 tons end up in the ocean. One of the biggest impacts ocean plastic pollution has is that many marine animals ingest plastic debris floating around in our oceans and Sri Lankans, being people who love their seafood, will unknowingly be consuming these and harmful chemicals micro plastics.

Sri Lanka also relies heavily on its tourism industry, which brings in a large portion of the countries’ earnings. Marine plastic debris can often be seen washing up on the shores of the Sri Lankan coastline, often bringing with them a pungent odor, tainting the golden sands and turquoise waters that are a major attraction for foreign travelers.

The Wellawatte beach

The next big question is, ‘so what can we do about this?’ The answer is quite simple, really.

Avoid Single-use plastics

What exactly is single-use plastic? Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging. A good place to put this into practice is the supermarket. Out of courtesy, the cashier will offer to put that one book and biscuit packet you bought into a plastic bag. REFUSE! If you aren’t carrying anything else you can surely carry a couple of items in your hands without the need for a bag. Its small things like this that can make a big difference.

Proper waste management

Sri Lanka has introduced the concept of garbage segregation, separating plastic and polythene for recycling. It’s essential that we aid this effort by segregating our waste as much as possible and also making sure we collect any waste in general. A stray chocolate wrapper or a plastic bottle, no matter how far from the ocean, will end up being swept away by rainwater into the nearest drain or canal which will eventually reach the sea. Even items as insignificant as the plastic wrapper of the straw of a Milo packet should be disposed of properly.

You could take your effort a step further and hand in your plastic waste to one of the many recycling plants in Colombo.

Eco-friendly alternatives

It’s crucial that we look for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic in our daily lives. Simple things like using reusable bags instead of plastic bags to carry groceries, switching from polythene lunch sheets to more biodegradable lunch sheets or even banana leaves, buying glass bottled beverages over plastic bottled ones, patronizing shops that use paper or reusable bags/packaging over ones that use plastic. With so many people making an effort to lead more eco-friendly lives, it’s our responsibility as well to make greener changes to our lives.

Spreading awareness

Finally, spreading awareness and educating the citizens of our country is paramount. It’s only through proper education that this problem could be completely wiped out. Volunteer work such as hosting workshops, beach clean ups, peaceful protests or even something as simple as sharing a post could go a long way and help society see the damage being done and hopefully bring it to a stop.

As Robert Swan said “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”.

Rtr. Yasiru Gunaratne

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Joint Projects

We love the Sea

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#WeLoveTheSea, which was a Global Action to clean the beach, happened on the 15th of September 2019 at the Wellawatta Beach organized by more than 10 Rotaract Clubs. It was truly amazing to see how many Clubs had come together to clean the beach of its garbage contained shore. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country famous for being an island surrounded by the big blue sea, and this sea is Sri Lanka’s precious diamond. However, it is sad to see that people tend to overcrowd the beaches and pollute its shores, which harms not only its sustainability and purity but also its marine life. However, on the 15th of September Rotaractors from multiple clubs got together and cleaned the coast starting from one side to the end of the other side.

Before the beach clean-up. The messy shore.

This is how it happened!

Rotaractors arrived at the Wellawatta Beach at 9.30 a.m. on the 15th and the clean-up commenced at 10.00 a.m. There were sacks marked with ribbons in different colors (Black – Plastic, Brown – Glass, Pink – Rubber and cans, Green – Polythene, Cream – Metal, None – Degradable) to indicate what type of waste should go in the sack to make it easy for the collection of garbage and disposal of it as well. Each person had a sack to which they collected the relevant type of garbage into, and it was amazing how hard working everyone was because each sack contained garbage which had been collected along the coast. A while later it started to rain, but nobody hesitated to finish the job they started, everyone kept collecting garbage into their respective sacks, and it was surprising when individuals who had come to do their daily exercise at the beach too helped to clean the beach, which was something unexpected and beautiful to see. Moreover, a family who lives in the beachside as an appreciation of the hard work, made everyone who had volunteered to clean the beach, a morning cup of tea, which was very generous of them since everyone was soaking wet from the rain.

Working hard to make it right

Working hard to make it right

Working hard to make it right

Working hard to make it right

At first, it seemed like the beach was pretty clean, but the deeper we got in, we found a lot of little pieces of debris. Towards the end, we came back to the starting point and all the sacks were kept in one place. All the volunteers that morning removed a massive amount of garbage and prevented them from polluting the ocean. It was nice to see how strong we all are in number being able to help the environment united, as one, and the energy between the Rotaractors was amazing, and the appreciation and gratefulness from the bystanders were tremendous. Besides the actual act of cleaning the beach, it was evident that when people come together for such great causes it not only makes the cause so sweet, but it drives people to do more good, not individually but together as a community, because at the end of the day, Sri Lanka belongs to all of us equally.

 

Working hard to make it right

The sheer amount of garbage produced in the country—7, 500 MT daily—coupled with inadequate waste disposal facilities, has adversely affected our ocean’s ecology. Therefore, by doing such beach clean-ups it makes sure that plastic pollutants, to a certain extent have been prevented from going into the sea and harming the innocent ever so graceful marine life. 2/10 sea turtles die of consuming plastic bags mistaking them for jellyfish, and how sad and cruel is that? Due to dumping, and unethical ways of disposing the land produced garbage, many animals in the ocean go through tough times and end up dying, and initiatives like beach clean-ups is a very good start in protecting the ecology.

It must also be kept in mind that the ocean is for everyone, the sandy shores are for everyone, the beach is for everyone, and by keeping the beaches clean we not only help the marine life, but also it becomes a cleanly place for every living being including US humans, no matter how ironic it may seem since it is also the very same US who pollute the beaches. Not to forget the fact that this promotes tourism too! Sri Lanka is famous for its beaches and keeping them clean will surely attract many tourists!

It is of no doubt that everyone who joined hands to help our mother nature be clean in this hour of need, not only did a good cause, but also went away with some beautiful memories and newly built friendships which will be redefined throughout.

End of the beach clean-up. The clean shore.

 

Rtr. Bipash Suriyage

Cover Page courtesy of Rotaract Club of SLIIT

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Youth Time

Leadership

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              ‘’Leadership is the ability to get extraordinary

                     Achievements from ordinary people”

 

Leadership is not just a word or a role to be played simply. It is a small word that includes a huge meaning that takes each letter of this word to describe. Let us look into these Letters carefully to understand the true sense of ‘ Leadership’.

Listen twice as much as you speak. As one of the most important qualities of a leader, he should be a good listener rather than a chatterbox. Being the sole head of the group he/she must be able to listen to all the ideas that flow in from each member to analyze the problems and find optimum                       solutions for it.

Encourage people to take risks. This is a vital case as many are allergic to take risks. They think that the risks might only entail losses rather than goodwill. It’s the leader who gives that confidence and motivates him with optimistic thoughts.

Assess the facts before making a decision. There will be so many interests, involvements, influences coming your way. It is in the leader who verifies, evaluates, analyzes and decides which is best among all and which benefits the most.

Demand accountability of yourself and others . Being the leader you are responsible for what’s happening under your control. Also, you are accountable for works done on behalf of you, by you and also the work of your team.

Expect people to do their best . It is a duty for a leader to encourage the team members and motivate them to give their best in the works and responsibility they are given with. This will build up a team with great results and efficiency to work with.

Respect those “under” and “above” you, even if it is a normal team member or higher officials which you have to report to. All have to be given equal respect, as all humans in this world deserved to be respected.

Solve problems with the action . First and foremost, the leader has to be a person with patience and a humble mind. Where a person could analyze the situation well and decide on what’s true and fair according to relevant facts and analysis.

Honour your word . As you respect others ideas and views. You must always honor your word and stick to it. If you agree upon doing a certain thing, it must be done without any hesitate, This will make you a role model among the team members as well.

Include others in the process. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”. when working with a group, higher aims, higher motivations, goals could be achieved as a team together. Always delegate work between teams to get the maximum results.

Praise publicly , criticize and correct privately. This is the most important quality a leader should possess. this is where the inward respect of others build towards a leader. Appreciations have to be done publicly and criticizing or correcting a person’s fault has to be done privately. This is also another way to motivate a good team spirit.

In conclusion, each letter has a descriptive meaning for the word LEADERSHIP “ . As I mentioned before, just being a ‘Leader’ for its namesake won’t bring you anything, But, if you add the above principles to yourself and act accordingly, you will be able to be a leader to be remembered.   

Rtr. Shiffara Haarief

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A Belt! A Road! A trap?

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Colonialism, A thing of the past and yet not so much for those of us living in developing countries.

China, having emerged as a new economic powerhouse in the Orient, has taken many great steps to extend upon their economic success. The Belt and Road Initiative was the brainchild of this new emergence which estimates to be one of the largest infrastructure and investment projects in history, covering more than 68 countries, including 65% of the world’s population and 40% of the global GDP as of 2017.

This has lead to many assertions and allegations thrown around as to what’s the real deal behind this project. Many of these accusations have been made by China’s western counterparts who see this as a threat to the existing western-designed global financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. However these raised concerned aren’t necessarily unfounded and what lies between the lines do need to be realized.

 

A tool of global political puppeteering?

China isn’t exactly the first country that comes into mind when speaking of political meddling. Despite being a global power, China’s interference with foreign politics is minimum at most (Not counting Hong Kong nor Taiwan). Even in terms of military presence, China currently maintains only a single foreign military base located in Djibouti. China’s main purpose (as they claim it to be) is to improve global relations through economic cooperation and bring out joint economic prosperity for those within this belt. These infrastructure deals don’t seem to come with any sort of political strings attached (at least on paper). Thereby it is natural that many of these developing countries who have had to settle for many political concessions which may have to undergo many political concessions to get loans would seek out China in bail them out

A inflated story?

Sri Lanka has been the prime example taken by critics of the belt and road critics in proving its flaws. A harbor that ships are reluctant to come to and the prestige of constructing the world’s emptiest airport have created large doubts with regards to the sustainability of the Chinese projects. The lack of cash flow from these projects meant there was no way to settle the funds burrowed. This lead to the Sri Lankan government settling for a “99-year” lease of the port to  China Merchant Port Holdings Limited for $1.12 billion in 2017 where the Chinese state-controlled firm owned 85% stake. As doubtful as it remains, fears of Chinese militarization of this port alarmed India which prompted them to invest and take control over the airport to balance out any form of Chinese hegemony in the Indian Ocean.

Would this mean Hambantota will host WW3 before the Commonwealth games? Only time will tell.

There is a certain side to this debt trapping that is over-inflated. Common myth many Sri Lankans believe is that our debt problem is mainly owed to the large proportions of loans taken from China. While acknowledging that we do have a critical debt problem, Chinese loans aren’t the real problem here. Chinese bilateral loans only amount to 9 – 15% of our external debt which happens to be mostly concessionary loans and they even have longer debt cycles ranging around 19 years while the majority of our external debt which is International Sovereign bonds only have cycles of about 7 years. In reality, Sri Lanka’s debt crisis is attributable to its persistent Balance of Payment issues and its inability to bring about productive returns in the infrastructure projects it undertakes.

The best deal in town?

Through this project, China has spent billions of dollars investing in over 68 countries and by no means are there any assurances that all these projects will provide the expected returns. However, these projects play a pivotal role in bringing about the much needed infrastructural development in these developing countries which could potentially bring about the economic prosperity these countries yearn. Furthermore, these are countries placed as high risk by credit rating agencies thereby they face difficulties in gaining required funds to kickstart sustainable development programs. The Hambantota Port project, for example, has a greatly untapped economic potential. Given its close proximity to the East-West shipping route than the Colombo harbor, provides greater means of attracting ships as well. The port is further advantaged by the fact that there are approximately 3.5 square kilometers of vast land area, dedicated for port-related industries along with an additional 50 square kilometer industrial zone. This proves that perhaps the fault lies with government mismanagement or with the fact that it’s a little too early to expect returns from these ventures. Given the right management and time, these white elephants might just turn into pots of gold and truly make these deals worthwhile.

To conclude it is understood that beyond a reasonable doubt that China’s Belt and Road Initiative has greatly boosted China’s soft power in world politics. Perhaps the Road and Belt Initiative and its complementary Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) would act as a parallel economic system and would ensure that China brings about a new world order where Chinese political, economic and societal influences will dismantle and take over that of its western counterparts. China’s higher priority on noninterference with political matters of other countries and in the meant time its lesser commitment to adhering to human rights would perhaps be a welcome and an unwelcome change to the new world order we would see in the years to come. Is this a new age of neo-colonialism with a new colonialist or will it usher new dawn of development to the 3rd world? Only time will tell.

Rtr. Asel Gunaratne

 

 

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