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Avurudu Around The World

Avurudu Around The World

  • by Neville Epa
Avurudu Around The World

The New Year has now begun, but the celebrations are not yet over. Despite the fact that everyone is slowly making their way back to work after the long weekends, the extravagant celebrations and abundance of sweet treats - people can celebrate the New Year all month long. Like most places, Sri Lanka has a large diaspora of both Sinhalese and Tamil people all over the world. Whether that be families that have migrated years ago, young adults who left home to pursue higher education, people who have left for jobs and more. Our island is spread out globally, and that means - so are the celebrations.

Being away from Sri Lanka at a time like this can be difficult, sometimes it is hard to source exactly what is needed for the festivities, or to find the right clothing - nevertheless, that does not hinder anyone from partaking in the celebration of the New Year. While we have traditions that remain the same throughout the globe, everyone adds little elements into their celebrations to make it as homely as possible for them, and their guests. The New Year is a time for family, friends, and abundant joy (and food, of course).

As usual - the cleaning and preparation begins the day before. Removing the old and making space for the new! In some families, temple visits and offerings are also done the day prior to pray for a blessed upcoming New Year.

For some, cooking begins very early in the morning, if not at the time that is suggested (depending on where they are). The Kokis, Aluwa, Kiribath and more start filling homes with sweet aromas and are then prepared to be served to guests or delivered to friends and family in the area who are celebrating. Sometimes, the treats even make their way to offices! The milk is boiled on stoves and the New Year begins.

If people are hosting, everyone will get dressed up for the occasion! One thing that people ensure they take abroad, is their sarongs or lungis, it is a small piece of home. With a little twist, people throw them on with a top of their choice and Sri Lankan-esque jewelry to add to the look. In some cases, the hosts might even appoint Avurudu Kumari and Avurudu Kumaraya, which is the traditional New Year princess and prince that represent the spirit of the New Year.

One of the best parts of the celebrations is the games and gifts when you are abroad. People have different favorite New Year games but when celebrating abroad, they ensure at least two to three of them are played during the party. The most common one being the Banis Karma! It is also one of the least messy and easiest to do in a flat or a small garden. Towards the end of the party, guests and hosts will often exchange gifts between each other as a gesture of goodwill.

Sinhala and Tamil New Year all over the world is a community celebration. Whether people are hosting or simply handing out Kevili (traditional sweets and snacks such as Kokis, Konda Kavum, Mung Kavum, Aasmi, Kiri Toffee etc.) to friends and family - the New Year is celebrated.

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