As the sun makes the astrological crossing from the house of Pisces to the House of Ares in the heavens every 13th and 14th of April, the Sinhalese and Tamil communities of Sri Lanka get together to celebrate what is perhaps the most joyous event that takes place in the tiny island.
Preparations for the Awurudu celebrations by the Rotaract club began just about after the Koha made its first few mating calls, signaling the proximity of the New Year. The Awurudu celebrations were organized to be held along with the General Meeting for the month of April and therefore it. Organized by the dedicated team of the Club Service Avenue of RACFOSUOC, the Awurudu-themed general meeting, held on the 25th of April 2022 on the 5th floor of the ILC building, became the first physical meeting of the club for the year 2021/2022 and was awaited with much enthusiasm, allowing us to finally break away from the monotony of online Zoom meetings.
Seeing the club members – who for the most part of the previous year interacted with each other only online – dressed in vivid traditional attire was definitely a sight for eyes made sore by staring at laptop screens for an entire year.
The meeting commenced with the usual avenue updates which gave a synopsis of the ongoing projects of the club. Since it was our first physical meeting, the club members took turns introducing themselves. As everyone obviously had a lot on their plates during the previous two-and-a-half months owing to semester exams, most projects had to be put on hold. The Awurudu-themed general meeting became a way to rekindle the energy of the club and to get everyone hyped up and excited to get back to business.
Finally, it was the time for what we had all been waiting for – the Awurudu games! The games kicked off with Kaputata aha thabima – a timely twist to the popular Aliyata aha thabima. The hall echoed with the chants of kaak kaak kaak as everyone tried to guide – but mostly to misguide– the blindfolded contestants, ensuing nothing else but uncontrolled and unabashed laughter.
Next, it was time to get everyone to bust some moves with the Balloon dance. Getting everyone to find a dance partner was the most challenging part of this game, making everyone realize the importance of choosing a dance partner who is a height match and how being unable to do so would result in a few LOL moments.
After the first exciting few games, it was time to recharge. Refreshments were of the traditional Awurudu sweetmeats and dishes. An assortment of kaevili along with Kiribath brought by the club members filled the kaema mesae and everyone had their fill.
As everybody became a bit more hyped up after dancing around with balloons and had stocked up on energy, it was time to head outside for some outdoor fun. Next up on the list was the water balloon throw-and-catch. Getting drenched was part of the thrill although, of course, the objective was not to.
The strength of the club lies in its unity. And what better way to evaluate the strength of a team other than through a few rounds of tug-of-war? After dividing the crowd into six groups, the rounds to pick the winning team commenced. But unfortunately, the game had to draw to an end before a winner could be chosen due to unavoidable circumstances. It was a bit of a buzzkill, but we were told not to worry for the best event was saved for last.
Everyone knows that an Awurudu celebration would be incomplete without crowning an Awurudu Kumara and Kumariya. The club members gathered near the entrance to the ILC building to witness the finale. The Board of Directors selected eligible contenders among the junior members for the coveted crowns and juniors selected their pick from the Board of Directors to be crowned.
From the Board of Directors of the club, Azam ayya, our joint community service director, was crowned as Awurudu Kumara while Sajani akki, the joint director of public relations, was crowned as the Awurudu Kumariya.
Selecting the Kumara and Kumariya from the dashing boys and gorgeous girls amongst the junior members was quite a task for the BOD. The directors asked a series of questions from each of the contenders to select the ones worthy of the crowns and the competition was tough to say the least. But it was finally decided that from the junior members, Rtr. Himantha was the most eligible to wear the crown of the Awurudu Kumara while Rtr. Serah Wijenayake emerged as Awuruda Kumariya.
The event drew to a close with awards presented to the winners of the games and speeches made by the executive committee and the team members of the Club Service Avenue thanking those who participated.
The celebrations gave us a moment’s break from the continuous stress of exams and the burdens of the economic struggles that our beloved nation plunged into. It erased the furrowed brows on our faces and drew vibrant smiles to replace them – smiles that glowed brighter than the Awurudu Sun – leaving us with memories to be cherished for a lifetime.
By Rtr. Yowan Dias