Monday, December 31, 2012

Heralding A New Year

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai 

New Year joys to Someone Truly LOVABLE

New Year Day is observed on 1st January, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar while the New Year’s Eve is celebrated on the last day of the year – 31st December.

In many countries, New Year’s eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, an watch or light fireworks to mark the New Year. Some attend to watch night service. The celebrations generally go past midnight into 1st January (New Year’s Day).

People also have a tradition of sending greeting cards to celebrate New Year. Hallmark Cards and American Greetings are the largest producers of greeting cards in the world. In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that one billion pounds are spent on greeting cards every year, with the average person sending 55 cards per year.

In western countries, and increasingly in other societies, many people traditionally mail seasonally themed cards to their friends and relatives in December. With the practice of sending greeting cards becoming universally accepted, non religious messages are becoming very popular.

John Beeder, former President of Greeting Card Association, an international trade organization representing the interests of greeting card and stationary manufacturers say, greeting cards are effective tools to communicate important feeling to people you care about: “Anyone feels great when they receive an unexpected card in the mail. For me, there’s nothing like a greeting card to send a special message. I’m proud to be a part of an industry that not only keeps people connected, but uses both imagery and the power of words help us express our emotions”.

There are different ways to usher in the New Year, and lightning firecrackers is one popular mode. In European countries, the New Year is greeted with lighting fireworks. This day is also the occasion to make bonfires of discarded Christmas trees in some countries.

On New Year’s Day, people in certain countries gather on beaches and run into the water to celebrate the New Year. In Canada, the Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Netherlands this is very popular. These events are sometimes known as “polar bear plunges”, and are sometimes organized by groups to raise money for charity. Polar Bear Clubs in many Northern Hemisphere cities near bodies of water, have a tradition of holding organized plunges on New Year’s Day.

1st is the first day of the modern Gregorian and Julian calendars. There are various calendars, linked to various cultures. But the Gregorian calendar has been adopted by all the countries as the official calendar, making 1st January the beginning of a new calendar year for everyone.

New Year is not just another celebration. It marks new beginnings and generates fresh hope. As people around the world are currently getting ready to welcome the year 2013, there are many symbols associated with the festive season; including bonfires, firecrackers, sparklers, special food items, floral arrangements, gifts, greeting cards and dresses and last but not the least-prayers.

In preparation for 2013, Colombo too donned its festive gear with city streets, markets, malls, hotels and restaurants looking eager to welcome the New Year with a sparkle.

New Year wishes to someone special during the season
"Happy New Year” cup cakes for the season

Sent to someone who is truly LOVABLE

"Snow Man” cup cakes for the season
New Year greeting for the dearest
Delicious chocolates to welcome the New Year
Countdown at Nelum Pokuna Rajapaksa Performing Arts Theatre or Lotus Pond
An array of firecrackers for the forthcoming season
Pictorial on ESCAPE of Ceylon Today of 31st December 2012

Soulful New Year, please click; to read and view.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Shiny New Year

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
 Fashionable pictorial on Ceylon Today of 30th o December 2012

An array of fashionable dresses and accessories ad extra colour to the New Year celebrations at a fashion show that captured the seasonal cheer, under the theme “Let it Shine” at ODEL.

Male and female models wore attractive outfits on the ramp. Elegant dresses with touches of gold, black and silver were showcased with appropriate accessories. These splendid dresses add to the seasonal cheer with just a touch of glitterati.
Men's fashing for the forthcoming season
Glitterati dress for gorgeous season
Seasonal party wear
Informal wear for men
Dress to attract the season
Party wear for the season
Models on the ramp at night
Men's formal wear for the season

Fashionable shoes to match the dresses

Splendid Fashion for Season please click 72157632377798393/ to read and view.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celebrating Christ

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

 Cute crib at St. Peter's College in Bambalapitty

Glória in Excélsis Deo” in Latin means “Glory to God in the highest”. Christmas is an annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which fall on 25th of December. “Christmas”, the word originated from the term “Christ’s Mass”. Christmas is celebrated as a major festival in many countries.

Homes, offices, Churches, shops and streets are decorated with special lights and glittering decors including Christmas trees, garlands and wreaths. Beautiful cribs depicting the birth of Jesus Christ are set up during the celebration, with spectacular statues of Mother Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, angels, shepherds, sheep, wise men and camels. Special Christmas midnight mass is held at Churches on 24th December with singing of carols. Santa Claus greets and gives out gifts during Christmas. Gift-giving is a tradition followed during the Christmas.
Baby Jesus at St. Peter's College in Bambalapitty
Decorations on a Christmas tree at Cinnamon Grand Hotel
Rain soaked angel at St. Peter's College in Bambalapitty
Christmas tree at Cinnamon Grand Hotel
Night view of the crib at St. Peter's College in Bambalapitty
Gorgeous Ginger bread house at Cinnamon Grand Hotel
Decorations at Majestic City
Seasonal decorations at Cinnamon Grand Hotel
Pictorial on Ceylon Today of 23rd of December 2012

Christ's Mass = CHRISTMAS , please to read and view.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas at ODEL

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Chic fashion show

“LET IT SHINE”, was recently unveiled at ODEL, the flagship store in Colombo (Alexandra Place). The new décor brings the enchanting elegance and sparkling experience this season. Amidst all this fabulousness, the familiar symbols of the season – the trees, the baubles, and the reindeer - are all joyously present and have never looked better.

ODEL’s 2012 Christmas makeover was launched on 12 November, with a chic fashion show at the Alexandra Place store.

Old mansion is turned into a glittering experience
Look at women's section
Look at men's section
Shiny decorations for the season at children's section

On Ceylon Today of 22nd of December 2012


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
Saila Ithayaraj's father was killed in shell attack in 1981 in Kantharmadam, Jaffna and her husband was shot dead at sea in 1996 in Araali, Jaffna

Sri Lanka’s total population 20.27 million consists of 53% women (2/3 of total population) according to the latest census. More and more women are becoming breadwinners all over South Asia. Women are forced to bear multiple burdens due to poverty, conflict and displacement and climate change.

There are more than 40,000 widows including 26,340 in Jaffna District according to Centre for Women and Development. And, there are 89,000 widows in north and east of Sri Lanka according to the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs. The latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) 2009/2010, which was conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics, and the estimates reveal that, out of five million households in Sri Lanka, 1.1 million (23%) households are headed by women. And, most of the women heading households are in 40-59 age group, while 50% of them are widows, and 4.5% are reported as never married. The high percentage of widows can be attributed to the prolonged war in Sri Lanka. Recently published research study book “Invisible Forgotten Sufferers: The Plight of Widows Around the World” reveals that, there are an estimated 245 million widows worldwide, and 115 million widows live in poverty and social stigmatization. These women are in constant search for a sustainable source of livelihood.

Women, whose husbands have been killed in the war gathered to share their grievances at “Strengthen Women Headed Households, and their Right to Life” symposium held in Trincomalee District, which was organised by National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO). Some of these women have also lost their fathers and brothers due to war, and have been pushed to bear the family burden from their childhood. And, some of their husbands and sons have either been killed in war or have been disappeared over the past years or in detention.

Yogavathana Pulendrarasa's husband was killed during a cross fire at sea in 1991
A. R. Jamun Umma's husband was abducted and killed in 1990 in Trincomalee, and her son was shot dead in Kinniya
Nirmaladevi Shanmugananthan's husband was shot dead at sea in 1986 in Trincomalee
Anjalidevi Rasalingam's husband was abducted in a "white van" from Trincomalee town in 1989, and has been missing ever since
A.M. Fareeda Umma's husband was killed at sea in Mullaithivu in 1998
Nirmala Priyadhashini Nishantha's husband has been missing since 1999 from Mullaithivu sea. "I went and met Colonel Karuna (at that time) during the Ceasefire period in Vanni, but the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam told me that, they have not captured my husband. Since the war ended in 2009, I have given up hopes about my husband" ~ shares Nirmala Priyasharshini Nishantha from Trincomalee
Jeyakili Pushparatha's husband was arrested at sea in 2000 in Trincomalee, and has been missing ever since
Shyamaladevi Ponnuththurai's husband was killed in an air attack in 1990 in Trincomalee
Mohamed Kasim Kasara's husband was killed at sea in Mullaithivu in 1998

 Mahalakshmi Thiyagarasa's husband was shot dead at sea in 1985 in Trincomalee

News in Pictures on Ceylon Today of 18th of December 2012


Monday, December 17, 2012

SAVISTHRI's Campaign

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai 

Signature against violence against women

A public signature campaign under the theme “Violence Against Women is Violence Against Humanity” was launched recently near the Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo, to create awareness on violence against women. “SAVISTHRI” – Women in Development Alternative organized the campaign, which will continue till 8th of March 2013 in 15 areas, in 13 districts namely Anuradhapura, Badulla, Colombo, Galle, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Kegalle,  Kurunegala, Matara, Matale, Monaragala and Nuwara Eliya . Grassroots level women activists from fisheries, farming and estate sectors participated in the signature campaign.

The objective of the campaign is to seek public attention and participation, call to improve good governance, condemn rape, murder and violence against women, respect and restore right to life and equal treatment to people living in the north and east. It’s a continuous campaign at village and national levels” says Padma Pushpakanthi, National Secretary of “SAVISTHRI”.

Banner with signatures
Child participating at the campaign on violence against women
Campaign on violence against women is currently underway
Banners to create awareness
Drama performance on the street
Woman from signs the "signature banner"
Pink paper flag
Purple banner to highlight violence against women
Sandhya Eknaligoda, wife of missing Sri Lankan cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda at the violence against women campaign
Woman signs a banner
Participants at the violence against women campaign
Campaign banner at Viharamahadevi (Victoria) park
Woman sits in front of the Colombo Municipal Council to create awareness
Women from the grassroots participate at the ongoing campaign
Street drama performance by People's Cultural Collective
Women participants in pensive mood
"End Violence Against Women Now" ~ activists reiterate
Street drama performer depicting a scene on violence against women
Despite balmy weather, women sit on the ground to create awareness on violence against women

NEWS in Pictures on Ceylon Today of 17th of December 2012