Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 30 March 2014





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Koggala reverberates to the sound of music

It was a lovely day, the rural landscape where the Music Festival took place added beauty for the festival. The theme "Music is for all" was experienced by all of us. We felt that in spite of colour, race, religion and ethnicity music could be enjoyed by all. The theme of the day was indeed made a reality.

There was commotion everywhere as we walked into the premises in which the children's music festival was held. The children from the southern district were preparing to participate in the events. They were dressed in beautiful costumes with heavy jewellery. They looked like colourful birds from a distance.

The events were held at the Martin Wickremasinghe Folk Museum premises at Koggala. The main entrance was wonderfully decorated. It was really colourful. Many students were standing in long queues to enter the premises.

Unique space

The children were overjoyed when the Indian music group started to perform. Donn Bhat and the Passenger Revelator band from India caused a sensation and created a unique space for themselves. This spot attracted many children. They seemed to enjoy the music.

A festival atmosphere was created in the minds of the children's through activities such as magic, face painting, mimicking and karaoke. We were not sure as to which stall that we could go into. Then all of a sudden, we were attracted towards the face painting stall.

The children enjoyed the face painting activity. They began to form queues to get their faces painted. Their faces were painted in different, bright colours. Their faces were painted like animals and birds as well as flowers. They were awesome.

Dubbing workshop

The dubbing workshop was interesting and funny. There were sounds of laughter everywhere. A boy was dubbing a scene from a drama he acted in school. The staff in charge of dubbing told the boy to dub a verse saying, "I can't imagine as to what I will do at this moment." It was really terrific as the students burst out laughing for the different changes in tone and accent he displayed.

On our way to the next stall, we met Sahan Ranwala, son of the late Lionel Ranwala, the world renowned singer. He said that children get a general knowledge on different types of local and international music apart from what they learn from the school curriculum. They also paid a visit to the Martin Wickremasinghe Folk Museum which was surrounded by a restored ecosystem planted with hundreds of varieties of indigenous trees and shrubs in which bird life abound.


Children learnt different types of music and they enjoyed it. A student from the southern district said she got an opportunity to experience different types of music. "It is really fun and we rarely get an opportunity to participate in such an event", she said.

The Norway music group was the one which was enjoyed most by the children. The music group performed in such a way that the children and the audience were impressed. The Norway group had communicated the language of music with stunning effect. They sang songs in simple and clear English in which the children understood and reacted.

At times the children could not communicate with the music bands because of the language barrier. They found it difficult to understand certain words. It would have been good if they invited students from the other provinces as well.

As the saying goes "All's well that ends well." Everything started well and ended well. The children went home in a happy mood with a small gift of a note book in their hands.

Sumana Jayathilake got the award for her services to the children of Sri Lanka.


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