FeaturedISKnow Your Culture

Know your culture – Sri Lanka


The Pearl of the Indian Ocean, the Paradise Island, the Teardrop of India. Whatever you like to
call this beautiful island, Sri Lanka holds pride in a very diverse culture. From its written history
dating back to three thousand years ago with the colonization of the Western World, to Sri
Lanka being a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country, it’s no surprise to see some of the world’s
most unique combinations of culture on this island.

Sri Lanka has got most of its culture from its neighbouring country India, with Sri Lanka’s written
history starting with King Vijaya embarking from India. This was the beginning of the influence of
North Indian cultures. With the introduction of Buddhism during the reign of King Dutugemunu,
the base of Sri Lankan culture was built. 

Sri Lanka is not a country with just one ethnicity and has been influenced by various parts of
the world. The country has similar yet different cultures practised around the island. A few to
name would be, the Kandyan culture, Sabaragamuwa culture, Southern culture, Northern
culture and Western Culture. While these cultures have their similarities, they also have their
unique differences. 

Sri Lanka is also a trilingual country with Sinhala, Tamil and English being the main languages.
Sinhala is a language unique to Sri Lanka. Yet, the present-day Sinhala has many words which
were influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch and English.
Sri Lanka has many cultural holidays. The “Sinhala and Tamil New Year” is the most popular
one of them and falls around the 14th of April. Also referred to as the festival of the Sun-God, it
celebrates the Sun travelling a full cycle around the star constellations, bringing a dawn of a
new year. This is the time of the year where Sri Lankans visit their hometowns, buy new clothes,
and shower each other with gifts. Spending time together with everyone in the family while
playing games and making “Avurudu treats” is something people of all ages enjoy doing during
the Avurudu holidays. It’s a very festive season and one of the longest and relaxing holidays in
Sri Lanka.

Next up is Vesak. The festival falls in the month of May and commemorates the birth,
enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha. By this time of the year, the streets are lit up
with spectacular decorations. Colourful pandols, lanterns and candle-lit buckets take up the
cities. Sri Lankans also give Dansal during this time, which is offering free food and drinks to
anyone who passes by.

Speaking of food, it is a must mention that Sri Lankans always give a good spin to food. A plate
of food in Sri Lanka is always colourful. Since the staple food of the country is rice, the country’s
main go-to food is rice and curry, where rice is served with vegetable curries, greens and fish or
meat, prepared with spices to add even more flavour to the dish.

The street food of Sri Lanka is
also famous. The youth’s favourite food known as Kottu, is made with a type of roti cut into
small pieces and mixed with eggs, vegetables, cheese and curry. This is a must-try for anyone
of all ages!

If you’re into a light meal Sri Lankans have got you covered there as well. Hoppers and string
hoppers made with rice flour, would make you a light yet satisfying breakfast or dinner in Sri
Lanka. Although the name suggests they might be the same, the techniques of making them
are different and so are they in taste. 

For the sweet tooth’s out there, Sri Lankans also offers many teats to please you. Starting off
with a popular dessert, the Curd and Treacle combo is sweet and milky. Watalappan is another
dessert made with treacle, and loved by everyone.

Entertainment also holds a massive place in the culture. With the influence of the Dutch, Baila
was formed where the songs are very upbeat and energetic while the dancing could be anything
your body feels right. It always has a special place at any party or event and is always
mesmerizing to watch and dance.

We also hold pride in our traditional dancing. The most
famous is the Kandyan dance, where dancers dress up in red and white robes with traditional
drums being played in the background. It’s mostly seen at every perahera that takes place in the
country, but is most common in the months of July.

Sri Lanka also has dances influenced from
India called Bharatha Natyam dancing which is also a colourful dance, which tells a story
thorough the performance.
That is the culture of Sri Lanka. Hope you get a good understanding on Sri Lanka and the
people who make it a very rich and beautiful country.

Rtr. Theekshana Gunasekara

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FeaturedISThe Sports Express

The Sports Express – August

Sports express august cover


  • The England vs Pakistan test series took place during the month of August. In the first test match, Pakistan batted first and achieved a first-innings lead of 107, courtesy of a Shan Masood century before collapsing in the second innings and leaving England a chase of 277, which they achieved with 3 wickets left, mainly due to a crucial partnership between Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes. Both the next two matches were rain-affected draws with the 3rd test match notable for Zak Crawley’s epic 267, as well as James Anderson, becoming the 4th bowler overall and the 1st pacer to reach the milestone of 600 test match wickets. England won the series 1-0. Jos Buttler and Mohammed Rizwan were named man of the series
  • The T20I series between the two countries ended in a 1-1 draw as the first match was washed out, the second was won by England before Pakistan won the 3rd match. Mohammed Hafeez was named man of the series.
  • The Lankan Premier League was postponed after Sri Lanka Cricket was unable to get government permission to hold the tournament. Sri Lanka Cricket expects to hold the tournament later in the year.
  • The Caribbean Premier League got underway with all matches being played in Trinidad in only 2 stadiums; The Brian Lara Cricket Academy Stadium and Queen’s Park Oval. All matches would take place behind closed doors. At the end of August, Trinibago Knight Riders remain top of the table, winning all their matches.
  • Thabang Moroe, CEO of Cricket South Africa was fired with immediate effect after being suspended nine months earlier. The South African Cricket administration is facing scrutiny after financial mismanagement as well as recent accounts of black and coloured players recalling unfavourable experiences while playing for the national team
  • Dinesh Chandimal posted the highest score in Sri Lankan domestic cricket history with 354* for Army Sports Club against Saracens Sports Club, breaking the previous record held by Kithruwan Vithanage. Colombo Cricket Club had secured the championship of the Premier League Tier A Tournament at this point. Lahiru Udara of NCC finished as the highest overall run-scorer while Duvindu Tilakaratne of BRC was the highest wicket-taker. Moors Sports Club secured the Plate League
  • India which was scheduled to host the 2021 ICC World Twenty20 tournament retained hosting rights while the 2020 tournament, scheduled to be held in Australia but which was postponed due to the pandemic was pushed to 2022. The ICC Women’s ODI World Cup scheduled to be held in New Zealand in 2021 was also postponed to 2022


  • The UEFA Champions League resumed in the month of August with all matches ( except the round of 16 ties not yet completed ) to be played at neutral venues in Lisbon, Portugal. Atlanta advanced into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history and RB Leipzig made it into the semis for the very first time, both teams eventually getting knocked out by PSG. Bayern Munich became the first time to score 8 goals in a Champions League knockout game, defeating Barcelona 8-2 before beating Lyon in the semi-finals to set up a final against PSG. The final at the Estadio Da Luz was decided by a Kingsley Coman goal as Bayern Munich won the title for the 7th time in their history, winning all their games in the process. Robert Lewandowski finished as the top scorer
  • The defeat to Bayern Munich caused huge consequences at Barcelona, with the coach, Quique Setien as well as the Sporting Director, Eric Abidal being sacked by the club before star player Lionel Messi also expressed his desire to leave the club.
  • The UEFA Europa League also came to an end with all knockout matches from the quarter-finals onwards being played at neutral venues in Germany. Sevilla and Inter Milan defeated Manchester United and Shakhtar Donetsk respectively in the semi-finals. The final was held at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne and Sevilla won 3-2, following a Romelu Lukaku own goal in the 75th minute. Sevilla won the Europa League title for a record 6th time with Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United finishing as the top scorer ( he also scored for Sporting CP in the tournament )
  • Arsenal won the FA Cup for the 14th time, defeating Manchester City 2-1 in the final thanks to a double from Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.  
  • Manchester City had their 2-year ban on playing European Football due to breaching Financial Fair Play(FFP) regulations overturned by the Court of Arbitration of Sport after they found that UEFA had insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the conclusions that resulted in the ban.
  • Ligue 1 became one of the first European football leagues to resume for the 2020/21 season, starting on the 21st of August.
  • Manchester United captain and England international Harry Maguire was arrested while on holiday in Greece after reportedly assaulting police. He was found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insult after arrest and given a suspended prison sentence of 21 months which he is appealing against stating that he is innocent of all charges.


  • Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda broke the 16 year world record of Kenenisa Bekele in the 5000m, a record which was previously thought to be near unbreakable, He achieved this at the Monaco Diamond League posting a time of 12:35:36, beating the previous record by almost 2 seconds.
  • Karsten Warholm ran the second-fastest 400m hurdles of all time in Stockholm with a time of 46.87 seconds, only behind Kevin Young’s world record of 46.78 set at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.


  • The British GP was held in Silverstone where we saw a lot of tyre failures occur at the end of the race with Lewis Hamilton winning the race with just 3 wheels, Max Verstappen 2nd and a very lucky Charles Leclerc in 3rd after Bottas had a tyre failure.  
  • During the British GP, Sergio Perez was tested positive with Covid-19 and had to sit out of 2 races which made the German driver Nico Hulkenburg to race for the Racing point team.
  • The following week the 70th anniversary GP was held at Silverstone again where F1 had their 1st F1 race back in 1950.
  • The tyre supplier Pirelli made the choice to go with softer tyres in spite of the failures in the last GP and it made a very interesting race with people doing 2 and 3 stops to make it to the end.
  • Max Verstappen won the race ahead of the two Mercedes, becoming the first winner of the season who was not in a Mercedes car.
  • Next up was the Spanish GP held at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where F1 pre-season testing happens in the month of February.
  • Max Verstappen managed to split the two Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton collecting another win.
  • After a week’s rest for F1 after a Tripleheader, F1 came to Belgium on the stunning track of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. 
  • Lewis Hamilton took another win with his teammate finishing 2nd and Max Verstappen in 3rd.
  • In off-track news, Bottas to stay at Mercedes till 2021 while Lewis Hamilton says it’s not a good time to negotiate such a huge deal.
  • Vettel and Ferrari are not having the greatest time as there seem to be flames between the two parties. 
  • All the teams signed the concord agreement to have equal budgets in developing the car.
  • Williams team was sold to a private investment company but the contract agrees to race with the legendary name
  • FIA put out a new rule banning engine modes and from the Italian GP onwards only one single engine mode should be used from Qualification to the end of the race.
  • F1 announces the final calendar for 2020 with races in Portugal, Turkey and two races in Baharin with the second being on the outer circuit of the track (We will see sub 1 minute laps) with Abu Dhabi being the season finisher for 2020 on December 13th.
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FeaturedISThe Sports Express

The Sports Express – July



  • Live cricket returns with the England vs West Indies series.
  • Ben Stokes becomes England’s 81st test match captain after Joe Root is unavailable for the game due to the birth of his son.
  • West Indies win the first test match to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
  • In the second test match, England fights back through a Ben Stokes century to level the series 1-1.
  • In the series decider, Kemar Roach becomes the first West Indies bowler in 26 years to reach the milestone of 200 test match wickets.
  • Stuart Broad becomes just the 7th bowler in history to reach the milestone of 500 test match wickets after dismissing Kraigg Brathwaite in the second innings.
  • England wins the deciding test match to regain the Wisden trophy with a 2-1 scoreline.
  • The ICC ODI Super League is launched, 1 12-team competition with the top 7 teams gaining direct qualification to the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup. The first series in the league between England and Ireland is starting on the 30th of July.
  • The ICC decides to postpone the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup to 2021.
  • The IPL will be starting on the 19th of September and will be hosted by the UAE.
  • Sri Lanka Cricket announces the launch of the Lankan Premier League, starting on the 28th of August.


  • Real Madrid wins La Liga for the 34th time after defeating Villarreal 2-1.
  • La Liga ends for the season with Real Madrid as the champions. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla qualify for the Champions League. Villarreal, Real Sociedad and Granada qualify for the Europa League while Leganes, Mallorca and Espanyol are relegated.
  • Liverpool wins the league title for the first time since 1990, and for the very first time in the Premier League era.
  • The Premier League ends with Liverpool as the champions, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea earning Champions League qualification. Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur qualifying for the Europa League while Watford, Norwich and Bournemouth are relegated.
  • PSG win the Coupe de France, defeating St.Etienne 1-0 in the final. However, Kylian Mbappe is injured ruling him out for 3 weeks.
  • Juventus win the Serie A title for the 9th year in a row, defeating Sampdoria 2-0.
  • The Ballon D’Or is cancelled for the year 2020 with no player being awarded the title for the year.
  • Leeds United won promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 2004 with West Bromwich Albion joining them in the top flight.


  • July 5 – 2020 Formula 1 season starts with the Austrian Grand Prix.
  • July 5 – The Austrian GP was held at the Redbull Ring, Valtteri Bottas won from pole position with Charles Leclerc 2nd and the first time podium sitter Lando Norris 3rd.
  • July 13 – The Styrian GP was held at the Redbull Ring. It was the first time ever in F1 history that a Grand Prix was held at the same track twice on the same season. Lewis Hamilton collected his first win of the season in pole position with his teammate and possible main championship rival Valtteri Bottas finishing 2nd with Max Verstappen finishing 3rd.
  • July 19 – The Hungarian GP was held in the Hungaroring in Budapest. The race started with a damp track with Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz getting great off the line starts and the Haas team making a good gamble changing from wet tyres to mediums before the start of the race. The podium positions were, Hamilton 1st, Verstappen 2nd and Bottas 3rd.
  • The US, Mexican and Brazillian GPs have been cancelled.
  • F1 announces 3 races in Italy, F1 returns to the Nurburgring.
  • Fernando Alonso comes back from retirement.


  • The Tokyo 2020 Olympics which were scheduled to be held in this month has been postponed to 2021.
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Must Visit Destinations in Mohali

places in mohali

The time, I’m writing this blog, is usually when the intensity of the IPL reaches its pinnacle, but unfortunately not this year. The first thing I know in Mohali is the Kings XI Punjab team and its glorious home stadium, Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. But our collaboration with the Rotaract club of Mohali gave me the opportunity to explore more about this splendid city of Punjab.

Mohali is majorly inhabited by the Punjabi and Sikh community, so the gurudwaras here are worth paying a visit. A Gurdwara or Gurudwara, which has the meaning “door to the Guru”, is a place of assembly and worship for Sikhs. One of the best religious places to visit in Mohali is the Amb Sahib Gurudwara. The white coloured Sikh Shrine is a fine example of the Sikh architecture and a peaceful place to visit. 

Gurudwara Amb Sahib | Attractions in Chandigarh Mohali and Panchkula

Amb means mangoes in Punjabi, which is very similar to amba in Sinhala and ambiram in Tamil, and the religious place is named after the sacred mango tree which bears sweet fruits throughout the year which are served as prasad to the devotees. Legend has it that Guru Har Rai Ji, who was the 7th of the ten gurus of Sikhism, blessed the place. It was the guru’s wish and command that the tree bears fruits all through the year; a wish that has continued to this day and is nothing short of a miracle given that mango is a seasonal fruit. 

A recommended destination for nature lovers is the Sukhna Lake. It is actually located in the town of Chandigarh which is lying North-East of Mohali. Moreover, this is a manmade lake which was created by damming the Sukhna Choe stream that flows down from the Shivalik Hills. The splendour of nature attracts hikers, photographers and painters towards the scenic beauty of this lake. The spot is also favourable for water sport activities like skiing, surfing and sculling. Especially during winter, exotic migratory birds settle around the lake making it a delight for birdwatchers.

Sukhna Lake | Attractions in Chandigarh Mohali and Panchkula
beautiful experience with family - Review of Sukhna Lake ...

Situated alongside the Sukhna Lake is the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. This is a massive 40-acre exhibition of art pieces and sculptures. Also known as Nek Chand’s Rock Garden; this masterpiece is an outcome of creative imagination and fifty years of single-handed labour by a government official Nek Chand in his spare time. Having a total of about 5000 statues within its bounds, this sculptural project is a true example of ‘Best From Waste’ as these pottery-covered concrete sculptures of dancers, musicians, and animals are made from urban and industrial wastes such as discarded pieces of broken pottery, bottles, auto parts, plumbing materials, street lights, electrical fittings, broken sanitary ware and so on. This has now become a long-standing symbol of the city.

Rock Garden | Attractions in Chandigarh Mohali and Panchkula
Rock Garden Chandigarh Images, Photos of Rock Garden Chandigarh ...

Another serene destination of the city is the Dr. Zakir Hussain Rose Garden. This was named after India’s former president, Zakir Hussain and it is surmised as one of Asia’s largest rose gardens. The garden is said to be home to various beautiful plants including several hundred species of roses and medicinal plants. Walking through it is a true delight as the rose plants have been planted in neatly laid out flower beds. It’s appealing to watch the well-planned garden with paths for walking and jogging, an open-air gym, play area for kids and a small library. The most popular event at this garden is the Rose Festival that is held in February each year. Competitive events of varying nature like flower cutting and flower arrangement, landscaping, photography and Rose prince and princess take place.

Places to Visit in Chandigarh | ETBL - 2016, 2nd GLOBAL CONFERENCE ...

Another must-go-to place is the tallest victory tower of India, the Fateh Burj. This memorial acknowledges the spirit and courage of the Sikhs. It was here that Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, one of the most respected Sikh warriors, won a decisive battle against Wazir Khan, commander of the Mughal army. Along with the tall stature, the memorial includes six mounds with the statues of Banda Singh Bahadur and his five generals, delivers a picturesque view which mesmerizes everyone who sees it.

Fateh Burj Chappar Chiri | Attractions in Chandigarh Mohali and ...

Rtr. Jegatheesan Gowthaman 

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FeaturedISJoint ProjectsOur Projects

Must Visit Destinations in Sri Lanka

places in sl

Anuradhapura currently serves as the capital city of the North Central Province and is considered the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The Sacred City of Anuradhapura was established around a cutting from the ‘tree of enlightenment’, the Buddha’s fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is a haven for Buddhist worshipers in Sri Lanka. 

sri-maha-bodhiya-Anuradhapura – JK Travels
Sacred City of Anuradhapura – Sri Lankan Tour Guides

Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to be once the epicentre of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-laden forests in the early morning.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress - 【Lakpura LLC】

Situated in the Southern Sri Lankan Coast in the Bay of Galle just 132 KM from Colombo, the Galle Fort is one of the most extraordinary historical and archeological sites of the world. The fort was first constructed by Portuguese in the late sixteenth century and fortified expansively by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century. It is a stunning blend of archeology, architecture, and history in the backdrop of the tropical atmosphere. Its appeal lies in that it is not just a historical monument. 

A Complete Guide to Galle, Sri Lanka | Blue Lanka
11 Best Places For Shopping in Galle On Your Sri Lankan Trip

Legend states that after Lord Buddha was cremated following his death, his remains were distributed among the different realms for worship. Apparently of all these remains, his four canines were the holiest of all.

Of the four canines; the right canine was supposedly taken for worship by the King of Gods, another canine was taken by the king of the land Gandhara (an area which now is Pakistan), while the third was taken by the Nagas (snake people) who worshipped it in a golden shrine room, and the final left canine was given to the King of Kalinga in East India. The golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. During Puja, the heavily guarded room housing the tooth is open to devotees and tourists. However, one can’t actually see the tooth. It’s kept in a gold casket shaped like a Dagoba (stupa), which contains a series of six Dagoba caskets of diminishing size.

Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy - 【Lakpura LLC】
Inside Sacred Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka | Monument religieux ...

Yala National Park is located in the southeastern region of Sri Lanka and extends over two provinces of Hambantota district of southern province and Monaragala district in Uva province. The entrance to the park is at Palatupana, 12km from Kirinda. The distance from Colombo to the entry point of Palatupana is 305 km. The rocky outcrops scattered over the park provide vantage points to enjoy the sprawling areas with Sri Lanka’s dry zone landscape: low scrub and woods. Still more, the southern border of the park being the south-eastern coast, the brackish lagoons and dunes enhance the distinctive charm of the Yala National Park.

Yala National Park Private Full-Day Leopard Safari with Lunch 2020
Elephant Crossing, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka (www.secretlanka ...

-Rtr. Amiteshwar Pratap Singh (Rotaract Club of Mohali)

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FeaturedISJoint Projects

3131, 3220 Inter District Youth Exchange Program

IDYEP – Website (1)

It was nearly after three weeks of waiting that our delegates from Pune, India were to arrive in Sri Lanka on the 16th of October, for the Inter-District Youth Exchange Program (IDYEP). This was a joint project organized by the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School and 13 other Rotaract Clubs.

The responsibilities to entertain the guests throughout their five-day stay were divided among all host clubs. Arrangements were made to pick them up from the airport and welcome them to the country. However, the members of the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School were to meet our guests for the first time on the 17th, for a joint meeting followed by dinner.

It was a Thursday evening, a usual meeting day for the Rotaractors at Achievers, although the crowd and the excitement were much bigger. Over a hundred members from the host clubs, as well as a few members from the district, were present for the meeting. The Rotaract Club of the University of Peradeniya, although not being present physically, did not forget to join us through Skype.

Our five guests from Pune arrived soon after, and the Rotaract District Representative Rtr. Krishan Balaji warmly welcomed them on behalf of the clubs. A formal meeting was conducted followed by the usual proceedings. The audience was briefed on the upcoming projects of the host clubs, by their respective presidents. Rtr. Krishan Balaji also addressed the gathering and appreciated the presence of our guests. He emphasized on the importance and value of such projects, in building better friendships and cultural understanding across borders, and thanked the host clubs. One of the guests also spoke on behalf of the others and thanked the clubs for having them. She mentioned that they had a lovely stay in Sri Lanka so far and that it was a beautiful country with very hospitable people. The meeting was adjourned with that at about 7.30 PM, for fellowship.

However that was not the end of the evening, or rather, it was just the beginning. There were quite a few ice breakers planned before the crowed could set out to dinner. The Rotaract Club of Colombo Mid Town was ready with a quiz for the audience, which boosted the spirit in everybody. The members of all clubs and the guests were divided into teams so that they could mix with new people, and the quiz was conducted. The members participated enthusiastically (and maybe a little competitively) and it was made to be a very fun-filled evening.

This was followed by an open mic session organized by the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School. This was unsurprisingly featured by Rtr. Thisura, our very own Secretary. Due to time constraints, we had to keep it short to a few minutes. Nevertheless, Thisura never fails to entertain a crowd when a mic is given to his hand!

The night was getting darker and the crowd was getting hungrier, but everyone was still busy. The Presidents were exchanging Letter Heads with the foreign clubs, and the members were busy grabbing photographs and having their last-minute catch up with our guests who were to leave for Kandy the next morning. Finally, after a long session of mingling, the crowd made up their minds to set out to dinner.

The dinner was organized by the Rotaract clubs of Achievers Lanka Business School and Colombo Uptown and was held at Dutch Burgher Union, which was within walking distance from Achievers. Members from the two organizing clubs and few others joined, and everybody enjoyed a delicious Sri Lankan cuisine together. After another hour or so of more chatting and photographs, we had to put an end to the night.

We had to say our good-byes to our friends, as they were not returning back to Colombo. It was indeed a difficult good-bye, as they had touched our hearts deeply during their short stay. However, we could not be more grateful for their visit, the little things learned, memories created, and friendships enhanced!

Rtr. Kalani Siriwardena


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Sinhala and Tamil New Year

sinhala and tamil new year -Website (1)

The Sinhala and Tamil New Year (Aluth Avurudu in Sinhala) is a very important occasion for both Sinhala Buddhists and the Tamil Hindus of Sri Lanka. The uniqueness of this occasion is the celebration of the beginning of the New Year as well as the ending of the old year at the auspicious times stated by astrologers.

There is also a time period in between, which is called the ‘Nonagathaya’ (neutral period). During this transition time, the Sri Lankans are encouraged to refrain from routine actions and engage solely in religious activities. People stop all their day-to-day activities and visit the temple to accrue merit and get blessings from almighty.

Rituals begin with a bath on the last day of the old year and viewing the moon on the same night. People apply ‘nanu’ on their head and body before bathing. This is believed to have a purifying effect on the body and the soul.

The New Year is celebrated with boiling milk in a new clay pot, symbolizing prosperity as the milk spills over from all sides of the pot. After that, milk rice is cooked. A number of traditional Sinhala sweetmeats such as ‘Kokis‘, ‘Aasmee‘, ‘Kewum‘, ‘Aluwa‘ and ‘Weli Thalapa‘ are also prepared to serve near and dear ones.

The family table on the New year Day

At the temple, the villages gather to have anointed oil on their heads by the head priest. This ritual is also performed at their own homes, where the oldest family member anoints the herbal oil on the heads of other family members.

Applying oil on the forehead during the auspicious time.

When departing for work people wait for the auspicious time to leave and begin their chores in the New Year with zeal and vigor.

   Rtr. Amiteshwar Pratap Singh


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A voyage into Punjabi Culture

A voyage into Punjabi culture – Website

In this blog, I am going to take you on a journey through the beautiful culture of Punjab courtesy of our friends at the Rotaract Club of Mohali. The majority religion practiced in Punjab is Sikhism and there are five Gurudwaras (or places of worship) in Sikhism known as the Panj Takht, translating into the Five Thrones. These sites hold the utmost importance in Sikh culture and are places of assembly and worship for Sikhs. They are also welcome to people from all faiths without discrimination. Three out of these five holy sites are situated in Punjab, namely the Akal Takht Sahib, situated in the world-famous complex of the Golden Temple in Amristar, Takht Sri Kesgar Sahib in Anandpur and the Sri Damdama Sahib in Bathinda.

When we delve deeper into Punjabi culture we can learn about their two main cultural festivals. The first of these is known as Baisakhi and is celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April each year, very much like the Sinhalese and Tamil new year. It is a harvesting festival and also commemorates the dawn of the new solar year. Secondly, there is Lohri, celebrated on the 13th of January. It marks the end of winter and a traditional welcome of longer days and the sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere. It is traditionally celebrated by lighting a bonfire in the night where a crowd gathers and enjoys the night together.

Further, Punjab is known worldwide for its traditional dances; the Bhangra and the Gidha. The Bhangra is associated with the dawn of the new year of Baisakhi as we stated previously, and it is associated with harvesting and also draws its name from one of the major products of the harvest- the bhang. The Gidha is also a popular dance for the women of the Punjabi region.

Now let’s stimulate our test buds by getting to know a bit about delicious Punjabi food. The cultural food of Punjab is called Makke di roti and Sarson da saag. The roti is made from maize flour making it a distinctive yellow in color, while saag is a side dish made from mustard greens with added spices.

That was certainly an illuminating journey down Punjabi culture and I would like to express my gratitude to the Rotaract Club of Mohali for giving us this opportunity to take a small peek into the wonderful culture of Punjab.

Rtr. Rahul Jeyanthan

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Willow Mania

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‘’Till the full stop doesn’t come, the sentence is not complete’

Mahendra Singh Dhoni


Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School for the year 2018/19 paid off successfully in terms of International Service Avenue. As such the year 2019/20 for Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School has started the journey with the hopes of great success in the International Service Avenue with a set of immersive projects upcoming.

As the quote above mentions, there is no end in educating oneself and also learning about facts which people would love to know and some might not be interested. But apart from that, educating yourself with all kind of facts also makes someone special. Similarly where CRICKET is the second most popular game in the world, and it is important in knowing the facts about cricket. Project ‘’WILLOW MANIA” is the first International Service project for the year 2019/20 to make an understand how important cricket is to many societies by making the club members more enthusiastic about the field they love and also to the members who are not aware to become one.

Project ‘WILLOW MANIA’ was organized on 15th of August 2019 after the joint meeting with the Rotaract Club of Informatics Institute of Technology (RACIIT). So, we had higher participation from the RACIIT which gave a huge contribution to our project. The project had a unique way of professionalism in order to keep the momentum of the game flowing, by providing each team with a buzzer (rarely worked) option in terms of ‘First come first served’ basis to answer the questions. Which also made the game more interesting and enjoyable to all the fellow rotaractors.

The project was organized by our International Service Directors Rtr. Rahul Jeyanthan and Rtr. Kalani Siriwardhana. Where Rtr. Rahul Jeyanthan host the event, while the Professional Development Director Rtr. Suwithi Karunasekara was assigned as the Scorekeeper. All the members in the room were split into 3 teams as (Team A, Team B, and Team C) where each team consisted of 15-18 members from both the Rotaract Club of Achievers and IIT. Coincidently both the presidents of RAC IIT and RAC Achievers were split into two different teams, where both were acting like a normal participant for the time being for the fun of it in the game.


The quiz was divided into 3 different rounds. Which is a Test match round, T20 and One Day International Domestic round and the final round was the World Cup round. Where each round consists of 11 questions and the points were scored as 0 hints – 6 runs, 1 hint – 4 runs, 2 hints – 2 runs. If a team gives an incorrect answer another team will get the chance to get the opportunity and will be given half the allocated points per questions. If the 1st answer gets wrong Rtr. Rahul will give the first hint, where if a team comes with a correct answer after the 1st hint, they will be given 4 runs. And if the 2nd answer also goes wrong Rtr. Rahul will be providing a second hint and where if a team comes with a correct answer after the 2nd hint, they will be given 2 runs (I know right!, a bit confusing). As usual, the team with the highest runs wins the match.

At the end of the Test match round (1st round) Team A scored 8 runs, Team B scored 13 runs and Team C scored 17 runs and the Team C were leading. And at the end of the T20 and One Day International Domestic round (2nd round) Team A scored 25 runs, Team B scored 50 runs and Team C scored 55 runs and still retained leading. And before the last question of the Quiz, Team B was 62 runs and Team C was 62 runs and it was a similar situation like the World Cup 2019 final, where even they ended up scoring the same and they were supposed to play a super-over match in order to select the Champions of the World Cup 2019. As such the Willow Mania Quiz became such a situation where the last question will decide the Champion of the Willow Mania. And all 3 teams were so excited to press the buzzer to answer 1st. And the Team B pressed the buzzer 1st but was not been able to give the correct answer. So, team C grabbed the opportunity and came up with the right answer and became the champions of Willow Mania by scoring 66 runs at the end of the day.


In between when the game was flowing, the irritating part for our own Professor IS Director Rtr. Rahul Jeyanathan was even before he asked the question the buzzer was pressed. And the most noticeable part is the buzzer was kept pressing by the same team and by the same person over and over again. At one-point Professor Rtr. Rahul got tempered and wanted that particular team to answer without knowing the question as they were repeatedly doing the same mistake, which also made the event more exciting and entertaining.

Victory or defeat, after all, it’s all about learning and getting to know the facts. And all the teams, both the Rotaract Clubs of Achievers and IIT have fully enjoyed the event and showed their best fellowship by cheering and congratulating the winning team as well. At the end of the day, the project greater than expected by an immense number of participants by both the Rotaract Clubs and each person leaving the room while knowing a little bit more than they knew about the great game of CRICKET.



Rtr. Rishad Mohiyade

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