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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Swedish folk dancers perform in Sri Lanka


The Swedish folk dancers

The fear of getting old has become one of the most common unpleasant emotions in society. We consider that the old age is a negative period of someone's life.

On the other hand, there are different types of stereotyped attitudes about the elderly. But these attitudes are really not valid. Old people do not always become senile. They are not useless.

In Asian countries there is a notion that the aged tend to withdraw from life and sit around doing nothing. But this is a false notion.

Last Friday evening I had a rare opportunity to see an unusual folk dancing show performed by 29 elderly people who visited Sri Lanka from Sweden recently.

The show was held at St. Anne's Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Wattala under the patronage of the principal of the school Rev. Sister Kanthi Perera.

The male and female dancers had been performing on the stage for more than one hour exposing and empowering their mental and physical fitness. All the members of the group are between 60-80, while the youngest, Christina is 60 and the eldest Hannu is 80. Astor and Annika have been performing for a number of years.

According to them, ageing is not something to be worried about. The most important aspect of life is mental and physical health. Travelling round the world performing and introducing their heritage; folk dance of their county , they wish to expand the recognition of their motherland while enjoying visiting beautiful and interesting places in the world.

Priyanwada Banduwardhana was the only Sri Lankan dancer among them. She is a well-known Sinhala writer who has already published several novels, translations and biographies.

She said her Swedish husband Bruno Mellandar, another member of the group, always offers his cooperation in her writing and dancing.

The group presents dances free and presents musical instruments to schools and the homes for elders.

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