K-State Sihasara Event Provides Cultural Perspective

Kris Long, Staff Writer

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Manhattan Kansas is home to a very diverse population with inhabitants from all over the world. Cultural events like Sihasara 2019, focusing on Sri Lankan culture held in the K-State Union on Feb. 24 remind us that there are many cultures different than our own.

The event included displays of Sri Lankan cultural items such as clothing, cuisine and artwork. Sri Lankan performers sang, danced and played many traditional instruments and songs in the cultural presentation.

Because Sri Lanka is considerably more isolated than other areas of the world, the Sri Lankan culture is very unique, especially so in music and art.

“You don’t find these drums anywhere but Sri Lanka. All these drums are used for Sri Lankan rituals… and dances… These songs you don’t find anywhere else in the world and I think that’s why it’s important to show the culture [of Sri Lanka],” Na Linda, a Sri Lankan drummer who performed at the event, said.

Sri Lanka is a small island off the coast of Southeast Asia with a tropical climate as well as a vibrant and unique culture. A considerably large population of Sri Lankans call Manhattan their home and most of them have immigrated to work or study at K-State. The majority of local Sri Lankans work in the science department.

According to Brathi Vih, a prominent member of the Sri Lankan cultural association, it’s important to hold events like this because many people have never even heard of Sri Lanka, and so learning about the culture gives people a wider perspective of the world.

“I think it’s important everyone here learns about different cultures so we can have a better grasp of the world around us and I think it’s important for after we go out into the world as well, interacting with different kinds of people,” Eshi Wickeramasundara junior and second generation Sri lankan said.

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