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
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.