creative health

Nov. 30, 2012, 2:04 a.m. creativity , mental disorders

creative health daya dissanayake "No great genius has ever been without some divine madness". Aristotle. Are doctors and psychologists trying to make out that all writers are mad or mad people are more creative, was the question which came to mind when reading the BBC report of October 16th, headlin ...

Sufi Dhamma

Nov. 14, 2012, 1:51 a.m. Arts , Buddha Dhamma , love , Sufi

Love into Arts daya dissanayake As I listened to the presentation, I felt proud to be a Sri Lankan when the speaker introduced himself as a Sufi Buddhist monk. This was at the International Sufi Festival held in Amritsar, the 'Ocean of Nectar'. It was indeed sweet nectar, the city itself, the Golden ...

One Book Authors

Nov. 5, 2012, 1:44 a.m.

One author, One book daya dissanayake Some authors write only one book in their life time. Some of them shoot to stardom with that one book. The first author that comes to mind is one of those short listed for the first ever Swarna Pusthaka Award in 2007. The book was 'Kindura Gosin Vatunai Pura Mad ...

Read One Book

Nov. 5, 2012, 1:42 a.m.

Homo unius libri daya dissanayake It is claimed that Saint Thomas Aquinas used the phrase, "hominem unius libri timeo" ( "I fear the man of a single book"). Another version of his statement is that "a man who has thoroughly mastered one good book can be dangerous as an opponent". The Christian theol ...

Sacred Spaces

Oct. 29, 2012, 1:29 a.m. Adam's Peak , Buddhism , Kuragala , Sripada , Sufism

Mountain of All Faiths Kuragala background Kuragala, in the central hills of Sri Lanka, near Balangoda in the Sabaragamuwa Province, has been considered a Holy Mountain, probably long before the dawn of established religions, and today by all faiths, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islam. This is the ...

Sacred Flames

Oct. 15, 2012, 1:34 a.m. Bangladesh , book burning , Buddhism , Qur'an

Sacred Flames daya dissanayake The image was of an open book over a flame, defying the flame and remaining unscathed. A closer look showed the book to be the Holy Qur'an. The image could be interpreted in many different ways. Fire has been worshipped by man, probably ever since he discovered it. And ...

Solitary Vice

Oct. 12, 2012, 12:23 a.m.

The Solitary Vice daya dissanayake The literary month is over and we are into the Reading Month. We continue to celebrate a literary month and a reading month, two full months, 61 days, dedicated for reading, even though the reading habit has fast declined over the past few decades. Other countries ...

language of the beast

Oct. 3, 2012, 2:22 a.m. language

The beast in us daya dissanayake Prof. J. B. Disanayaka, in his most recent book, 'Encyclopaedia of Sinhala Language and Culture', says "Language is thus what separates man from Beast", but language has not helped man to kill or even suppress the beast in him. Did language make man a beast or did th ...

Two poems

Sept. 13, 2012, 7:58 a.m.

interview I didn't bring my C.V. Name - Date of birth - Address - G.C.E. O/L five, three A/L bio one C, Two S any job will do One hundred thousand square pegs vying for half a dozen round holes the carpenter keeps on turning out thousands more of square pegs no one bothers to tell him all the holes ...

Embedded Language

Sept. 5, 2012, 8:59 a.m.

Embedded Language daya dissanayake Man likes to believe that he is the only intelligent animal on earth who has developed language as a means to communicate with each other. Monkey lip-smacking, which requires rapid, controlled movements of the tongue, lips and jaw, may be tied to the emergence of s ...

murdering Khayyam

Aug. 30, 2012, 7:36 a.m.

Murder of Khayyam Idries Shah had said about Rumi, that his "technique prevented those who were incapable of using the material on a higher level from experimenting effectively with it, allowing those who want poetry to select poetry, giving entertainment to people who want stories; stimulating the ...

Ancient Healthcare

Aug. 24, 2012, 2:16 a.m. archaeology , healthcare

Healthcare in Ancient Sri Lanka Our behet oruwa, (herbal bath) I believe, is the best symbol for our ancient healthcare system in Sri Lanka and this cultural treasure from Medirigiriya shows how we treat our ancient traditions. Ancient healthcare as a subject has to go back to pre-historic times. He ...

adam & eve

Aug. 21, 2012, 11:56 a.m.

adam & eve 'Is that an island over there?' Mayura asked the waiter. 'That's the Pigeon Island' 'Why? Do you have a lot of pigeons on the island?' Manori wanted to know. 'There had been many pigeons in the past, but not any more' the waiter replied. 'Who is there on the island?' 'No one. It is a very ...

advertising demon

Aug. 21, 2012, 6:42 a.m. advertising

advertising demon daya dissanayake As long ago as 1719, Daniel Defoe reminded us through Robinson Crusoe, that people should compare their condition with those that are worse. Nanda Malini in her song about crying for sandals till she saw a person without feet, tells us about it, but unfortunately, ...

promoting literature

Aug. 8, 2012, 2:43 p.m.

Many Languages, One Literature daya dissanayake Listening to Namita Gokhale, the Member-Secretary of Indian Literature Abroad, the thought came to me that we are far behind India, when it comes to promoting Sri Lankan Literature Abroad. The irony is that our publishers are unable to find distributor ...

Anti-Buddhist movements

Aug. 1, 2012, 12:41 a.m. Buddha , misinterpretations , Tripitaka

Iccha for Anicca or Desire for Impermanence daya dissanayake "Bhikkhus, a certain foolish man learns the prose sections, prose and verse sections, the answers and explanation expositions, stanzas, solemn utterances, thus said sections, birth stories, wonderful things, a series of questions and answe ...

environmental litercy

July 18, 2012, 12:04 a.m. earth day , environment , literacy

Reading for the Earth daya dissanayake Reading for the Earth is a campaign launched by the Earth Day Network to help increase environmental literacy among young readers. "I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues...Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get b ...

Gyna sapiens

July 13, 2012, 2:49 a.m. evolution , Homo sapiens , woman

The Battle between Gyna and Homo sapiens daya dissanayake Leonard Shlain, a vascular surgeon by profession, used the term Gyna sapiens for the female of Homo sapiens, in his 2003 book 'Sex, Time & Power'. He says that Gyna sapiens rose to the challenge of evolution 150,000 years ago, from Homo erect ...

cultural comprador

July 4, 2012, 12:37 a.m. comprador , comprador intellectuals

Cultural Comprador daya dissanayake "The cultural ideal in literature, theatre, painting, music, dress, food, conversation, etiquette and so on was now drawn from the colonizer's world. The new literacy thus tried to transform India into a cultural province of the colonial metropolis and neo-literat ...

Tagore

June 22, 2012, 12:58 a.m. National Anthems , Tagore , Universal Anthems

Tagore's Legacy daya dissanayake To commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Cultural Center, Colombo, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and The Center for Contemporary Indian Studies, University of Colombo had organized a one-day sem ...

kinship

June 13, 2012, 3:30 a.m. kinship , laguage , Padma Edirisinghe

relative merits daya dissanayake There was a small group discourse at the Press Council office recently on 'Siyavas Dekak Sisara', Padma Edirisinghe's autobiographical sketch, with Dr. Leel Gunasekara as the guest speaker. The book is a narrative of her life story from her childhood, passing through ...

cultural divide

June 6, 2012, 7:02 a.m. gratiaen , samskrti

The Cultural Divide daya dissanayake Jayantha Aravinda made a presentation on 'Music of the Theatre, Then and Now', during the monthly discourse organized by Samskrti. He was accompanied by the well known vocalist Indeevari Ariyasinghe, whose golden voice we have heard often over the SLBC, and Chand ...

University in my pocket

June 1, 2012, 2:04 a.m. MOOC , on-line university , Takshashila

From Takshashila to MOOC daya dissanayaka Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have announced a new non-profit partnership, edX, to offer free online courses. MOOC, Massive Open Online Courses are already available from Stanford, Princeton, Michigen-Ann Arbour and Penn un ...

literate chauvinism

May 23, 2012, 1:54 a.m. chauvinism , literacy

literate chauvinism daya dissanayake "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read", wrote Mark Twain. Yet the man who can read but does not, considers himself superior to someone who cannot read. That is Literate Chauvinism, which extends to Linguistic Chauvinism, when "m ...

culture in my pocket

May 18, 2012, 1:19 a.m. culture , museum

Museums in my pocket daya dissanayake Google has partnered with the Israel Museum to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls and make them available online. These scrolls, dating back to the time of the birth of Christianity, had to be locked up in the museum due to their fragility. Till now only a few schola ...

all roads bring garbage

May 16, 2012, 11:53 p.m. eco-system , holiday season , Nuwara Eliya

All Roads Lead to Eco-destruction Creative Placemaking has come to Nuwara Eliya, brining vast improvements to the town, specially around Lake Gregory and all roads did lead to Nuwara Eliya, this 'season' too. The little town was bursting at its seams. A cultural tradition inherited from the 'White m ...

Melville's woman

May 2, 2012, 1:45 a.m. ahab's wife , moby dick

The Draft of a Draft "White Killer Whale Adult spotted for the first time in wild". On April 23rd, BBC reported a sighting of a white whale, off the coast of eastern Russia. The article concludes, "The most famous white whale, though, is the fictional sperm whale that drove Captain Ahab to his event ...

tsunami threat

April 29, 2012, 2:15 p.m. climate change , earthquakes , tsunami

eco-enemy and tsunami daya dissanayake "Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?" was the title suggested by Philip Merilees to Edward Lorenz for a talk Lorenz was to present to the American Association for the Advancment of Science in 1972. The story goes, that Lor ...

Say No to rotting flesh

April 29, 2012, 1:12 a.m. Buddhism , hunter-gatherer , vegetarian , Wesak

Say NO to Rotten Flesh daya dissanayake This is Wesak. The day symbolizing Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Nirvana. Today is a day we could contemplate on Ahimsa, and why there should be a need for the rotting flesh of animals and fish in our diet, which leads to direct or indirect violation of th ...

Cassandra & Nightingale

April 13, 2012, 5:01 a.m. cassandra , nightingale

Cassandra Nightingale daya dissanayake The tragedy of Humanity has always been due to ignoring the Cassandras among us and their warnings. Psychoanalyst Melanie Klein considered Cassandra as representing the human moral conscience whose main task is to issue warnings, while Apollo represents the des ...

pseudologia fantastica

April 4, 2012, 12:27 a.m. imagination

pseudologia fantastica daya dissanayake Dr. Michael Glock uses the term 'Pseudologia fantastica' to mean 'Truer illusions, where stories are invented and tall tales are told. Such fictional narratives are also called 'Munchausen syndrome', after the fictional Baron and his stories. Gilbert K. Cheste ...

woman and nature

April 3, 2012, 9:09 a.m.

woman is to nature what man is to culture daya dissanayake The thought that 'Women is to Nature what Man is to Culture', was mentioned by Vandana Shukla, writer, poet and journalist from Chandigarh, at the 2012 SAARC Literary Festival. She was participating in a panel discussion on Environment and F ...

SAARC Lit. Fest. 2012

March 28, 2012, 12:28 a.m. SAARC

FOSWAL SAARC Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL), the Apex body of SAARC, held the annual SAARC Festival of Literature in Lucknow, India, from March 16th to 19th. FOSWAL, the brain-child of Ajeet Cour, continues to be nursed by her and her daughter Arpana Cour. It was during the turb ...

Ravana

March 21, 2012, 1:22 p.m.

Ravana Revisited Ravana has come back to life. Just as he had been claimed to have ten heads, he has been re-created in as many forms. The latest reincarnation in the 'Ravana Meheyuma' (Ravana Mission) is by Susitha Ruwan, a doctor at Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital. It is a futuristic thriller with a ...

Nature's miracles

March 14, 2012, 12:27 p.m.

Nature as Vishvakarma daya dissanayake As I was seated on the beach at Unawatuna on the South Coast, my mind went back to an evening many years ago, on the beach near the border of the Yala sanctuary. I recalled seeing before me a true work of art. Today it reminded me that nature is the greatest cr ...

translating translations

March 6, 2012, 11:21 p.m.

Translating Translations daya dissanayake In 1865 Mark Twain wrote the 'Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County'. A few years later he wrote another story with a longer title, 'The Jumping Frog in English, Then in French, and then Clawed Back Into a Civilized Language Once More by Patient, Unrem ...

father of the eBook

March 6, 2012, 11:20 p.m.

A Man with a Heart daya dissanayake Michael Stern Hart was born in Tacoma, Washington, on March 8th 1947. Tomorrow is his 65th birth anniversary. On July 4th, 1971, he had typed the text of the U.S. Declaration of Independence into his computer and transmitted it to about 100 other users on the Univ ...

music, yesterday, today and tomorrow

Feb. 21, 2012, 11:32 p.m. music

A musical night in silence I had the good fortune to enjoy a musical night in silence, in a calm and serene corner of Battaramulla. For a tone deaf person like me to enjoy a musical night, it has to be something out of the ordinary. At least it was, to me, even though for music lovers in our country ...

knickerbocker

Feb. 15, 2012, 3:56 a.m. knickerbocker , washington irving

Diedrich Knickerbocker One day in the year 1809, a missing person advertisement appeared in several New York newspapers seeking information of a historian named Diedrich Knickerbocker. A hotel placed an advertisement that if Mr. Knickerbocker did not turn up to settle his bill, the hotel owner would ...

Kuveni and the Yaksa

Feb. 8, 2012, 12:35 p.m.

kuvanna Opening of the Vilpattu sanctuary has brought the Kuveni legend back to us, and we find even a place called 'Kuveni Nuwara' near Tabbova. Despite the myth of the Mahavamsa, most of us believe that Kuveni was real, just as much as Ravana was real. We believe they lived in our country long ago ...

Independence of language

Feb. 4, 2012, 12:53 a.m. language

Independence of Language True independence can be achieved only when we become “language independent”. In order to escape from Linguistic Colonialism we should aim to build new bridges for a trilingual Sri Lanka Man can be truly "Independent" only when he has Independence in communicating with all m ...

Sacred Couplets - Thrukural

Feb. 1, 2012, 12:52 a.m. Tamil Poets , Thiruvalluvar , Thrukural

Sacred Couplets daya dissanayake The painting was on the wall in the house of the Kurukkal of Maviddapuram kovil. A painting which had survived the ravages of the war, because the Kurukkal family held it as a precious and sacred object. It was a portrait of the poet Thiruvalluvar. The 1330 couplets ...

Creative Placemaking. Colombo

Jan. 25, 2012, 12:36 a.m. creative placemaking , urban arts

Another side of Urban Arts The Independence Square has been converted into one good example of Urban Arts or Creative Placemaking, as I wrote about a few weeks ago. Enjoying the luxury of a few minutes at the new-look Independence Square however reminded me of the inequality in our society and that ...

Mahagama Sekera

Jan. 18, 2012, 1:43 a.m.

A Halo for Sekara 36 years ago on the January 14th, one of the greatest "artists" in our country passed away. I use the term artist not because he was just a painter, but because he created music by his paintings, paintings by his poems and lyrics, symphonies by his novels, short stories, children's ...

Mark Twain

Jan. 15, 2012, 1:15 p.m. Mark Twain

'Two Fathoms Deep' Samuel Clemens While readers are on waiting lists for the print edition I had the good fortune to download the 'Autobiography of Mark Twain' onto my Kindle and start reading. It cost me only $ 4.99. If and when the printed edition comes to Sri Lanka, it would cost a few thousand r ...

Poetic Licence and Religious Tolerance

Jan. 4, 2012, 5:46 a.m.

Poetic License and Religious Tolerance Among all religions, the tolerance displayed by the Christian Church regarding the poetic license used by writers, artists and film makers about the Gospels and Jesus Christ stands out as an example to all other religious institutions. More research has been do ...