Jaffna Music Festival to celebrate diverse folk arts of Sri Lanka

Striking the right note

By Rukshana Rizwie
A nation is best known through its folk art. Simple, natural and free from inhibitions just like its people are. Folk music represents something in all of us that stems from the core values of the very country we roam.
These were some of the sentiments echoed at the launch of the Jaffna Music Festival, set to celebrate the diverse traditional folk arts of Sri Lanka for three consecutive days from March 25 to 27 this year.
“As Sri Lanka teeters on the threshold of a new era in development, the Jaffna Music Festival tries to relive the folk traditions and bring back indigenous music,” said Arunthathy Sri Ranganathan, the director of Aru Sri Art Theater and the artistic director for the music co-operation between Norway and Sri Lanka.
The Jaffna Music Festival, a prelude from the Galle Music Festival which was held in 2009, will explore the exciting and vibrant breadth of Sri Lankan traditional art in a real life folk-village setting.

“One of the heart rendering moments was seeing some 50, 60 year old men dancing to folk tunes and having them tell me that they’ve just started rehearsing after like 25 years. The last time they did this was when they were kids,” said festival co-ordinator Romesh de Saram from the SewaLanka Foundation
He said that due to the three decade war in the northern region, folk art, as all other art forms have suffered tremendously, years of curfew, frequent displacement and many other factors beyond their control have made it nearly impossible for folk artistes to display, preserve and pass on their traditional art forms.
“This will be an event where we get to see indigenous music in its purest form.
There will be a representation of 25 different folk art forms from Sri Lanka and five different from around the world. We hope to have eight village performances, including the Kappat Paatu which will be performed on the dunes of Nagarkovil on a full moon day,” he added.

The Jaffna Music Festival will be staged in close co-operation with lecturers and students from the University of Jaffna, where there will be eight different folk art forms have been identified and one from Mullathivu.
One of the motivations in staging the Jaffna Music Festival is to focus on the cultural heritage for younger generations to be educated, it also serves as an opportunity for the media and filmmakers to document these folk art forms and preserve it for generations to come. For it may never be seen again.
The festival is funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy as part of the music co-operation between Sri Lanka and Norway, which is implemented in Sri Lanka by the SewaLanka Foundation with the guidance of the Aru Sri Art Theatre, while concerts Norway acts as the implementation partner for the project from Norway.


The grapevine

Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo offers a wide range of delectable delights in the month of February

Cinnamon Treats
Daily Goodies
Irresistible cinnamon infused honey buns, scones, kisses, fudge, cookies, cupcakes, sugar doughnuts, danishes and crackers are the latest rage at Goodies.
7.30am - 9.00pm
For inquiries : 2491804

Executive Lunch
Monday – Friday
Royal Thai Long Feng
These four course menus, designed to fit into a work day lunch break, leave no excuse for a poor meal choice. Choose from authentic Thai or Singaporean set menus.
12.00pm - 2.30pm
Rs. 950/-
For inquiries :
2491949 (Long Feng)
2491945 (Royal Thai)
All prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.

Lavazza Lovers
The Lounge
Turn your regular coffee fix into a specialty Lavazza experience. Taste creations like the Toffee latte macchiato, Chilled caramello, Chocó mint classic, Gelato de Italiano, Café bianco and Frozen cappuccino.
11.00am - 1.00am
For inquiries : 2491956

Bubbly Buffet
9th February
The Lounge
The ultimate midweek indulgence. Six exquisite sparkling wines will be served limitlessly along with an array of accompaniments.
7.30pm - 9.30pm
Rs. 2,100/-
For reservations / inquiries : 2491956
All prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.

Heart Melters
11th – 14th February
Heart-mallows, Meringue hearts with cherries, Cupid cakes and many more treats that will pave their way into hearts. Special Valentine’s Cakes and packages including flowers and champagne are also available on order.
7.30am - 9.00pm
For inquiries : 2491804

Turn up the Heat!
11th – 14th February
The Lounge
Count down to Valentine’s Day with sizzling treats for the sweet tooth. Share a moment over our Valentine Flambé Desserts and watch the sparks fly!
7.30pm - 12.00am
For reservations / inquiries : 2491956

Love Struck Cocktails
11th – 14th February
Seven Degrees North
Get your heart racing these starry nights with Love Struck Cocktails like Sweet Serenade, Mi Amore, Passionate or Stupid Cupid. Go with your heart and be pleasantly surprised!
For inquiries : 2491948

A Date with Mr. Library
14th February
The Library
Keep the love alive. Get on your feet and show us what you’ve got as DJ Stephen spins his tracks. Come in your best and take home the prize for the best dressed couple. Professional dance guru Hiran Perera will throw in some moves and award a prize to the best dancers too!
9.00pm - 1.00am
For inquiries : 2491925

In Love by the Lake
14th February
Make this Valentine’s Day legendary! Treat your date to a starlit, five course dinner by the lake, with music to set the mood and a complimentary glass of Moët. Ladies will be welcomed with a box of chocolates and a rose, while gents will receive a gift courtesy of Hameedia.
Rs. 7,500/- per couple
7.00pm - 11.00pm
For reservations/ inquiries : 2491016
All prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.

A Taste of Love
14th February
The Dining Room
Show the special person in your life you care. Treat them to the special Valentine’s Dinner at the Dining Room where a fabulous international buffet awaits.
7.00pm - 11.00pm
Rs. 1,800/- per person
For reservations / inquiries : 2491930
All prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.

Get your Game on!
19th February onwards
Terrace Waterside
Catch the match on a giant screen, take part in quizzes and competitions and enjoy the offers on beverages and snacks.
Grab a piece of the action at The Library if you prefer a pub atmosphere.
For inquiries : 2491998 / 2491925

Match Pack
19th February onwards
Make a good game even better with the match pack. Take home a party pack of crumbed chicken drumsticks, vegetable spring rolls, sandwiches, vegetable samosas, beer and more. Or have it all delivered to your doorstep so you don’t miss a single World Cup moment.
7.30am - 9.00pm
For inquiries : 2491804
Delivery charges will apply.

Kiddies’ Camp – A Day at the Fair
20th February
Making learning fun again, the Kiddies Camp Fair has a game stall to suit every child. Children will be treated to pony rides, snacks and will have the chance to win gifts.
11.00am - 2.00pm
Children below 12 : Rs. 750/-
Accompanying adults : Rs. 950/-
For reservations / inquiries : 2491016
All prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.

Wine Buffet
23rd February
The Lounge
A wine lovers’ paradise! Eighteen wines in red and white will be served along with a spread of cheeses, carvery, canapés and asparagus.
7.30pm - 9.30pm
Rs. 2,100/-
For reservations / inquiries : 2491956
All prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.

Belvedere Night
25th February
Seven Degrees North
It won’t be all fun and games, because you will have the chance to walk away with a bottle of the world’s first super premium vodka too! Come and discover amazing deals on Belvedere Vodka on this night only.
7.00pm - 2.00am
For inquiries : 2491948

Hopper Night
25th February
Relish as many varieties of Sri Lankan cuisine as you can fit into one night. An extensive array of stuffed hoppers, string hoppers, pittu and kottu will be on offer along with curries to complement.
7.00pm - 11.00pm
Rs. 1,200/-
For reservations / inquiries : 2491998
All prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.


Mounting romance

A longstanding love affair with chocolate at MLH this Valentine Season

Chocolate is as big a part of anyone’s life and indeed has the power to captivate like no other food.
But its roots run much deeper.
It begins to melt, giving your mind and body a wonderful sensation..
So why chocolate for the month of February?
Anura Dewapura believes that something like chocolate that creates such emotional bonds - and also actually can be good for you - is just another reason to enjoy chocolate for the month of February.
Chocolate cravers need not fear, the month of February is once again ruled by Mount Lavinia Hotel.
When the whole hotel will be covered with chocolate and it will be Chocolate cravers and chocoholics, preferred choice.

The chocolate menu for the month is as follows:
Truffles for couples from 11am to 22.30hrs at the Terrace from Feb 3 to 5 - Rich, chocolate truffles are a decadent treat for any occasion, especially romantic and delicious ones with frappes and milkshakes to complement the delicacy.. While the classic chocolate truffle appeals to many couples, there is a wide range of truffle flavours and rich combinations to tickle any taste buds. Truffles at MLH will be enrobed in white chocolate - a smooth buttercream with no actual cocoa - sweet milk chocolate, or more luxurious dark chocolate, and couples can choose from dozens of popular flavours for a gourmet treat.
Chocolate Beverage Menu throughout the whole month from 11am to 22.30hrs at the Terrace –Looking for a way to brighten up your evenings? Try some alcoholic hot chocolate drink recipes. Hot chocolate is a staple for kids, but these recipes will turn it into a treat that adults will also crave. These drinks are great for entertaining or just getting cozy with that special someone this Valentine season.

Want hot cocoa that tastes like a candy bar? You have to check it out at MLH.
Chocolate High Tea at the Terrace 1430hrs to 1730hrs – “We call it High tea with a Twist” - On regular offer are cucumber sandwiches, crumpets, traditional scones, cakes and other finger sandwiches. However the menu will combine healthy interpretations of old classics, such as sweet and savoury cup-cakes and “no bread” sandwiches, using healthy alternative ingredients such as flour substitutes and créme fraîche instead of cream. Fresh fruit purees replace unrefined sugar and olive oil is used instead of butter.
To drink is a selection of fruit infusions, mocktails and eco-tinis made with London Gin. I recommend the Ultimate Iced Tea.

Feb 12 – Chocolate Dinner Extraordinaire – with Fabio Federico … A dinner with Slowcore, ambient and melancholic music to serenade you. For LKR4,000/-nett.
Feb 19 – Tour of Cacao and Chocolate Martini Mixology session - One will learn to pour like a pro and mix like a master, to properly set up a bar, different ways to serve drinks, what garnishes go with which cocktails, and how to make some favourites including a selection of Chocolate and Dessert Cocktail. After the class, a complimentary hour open bar will be held to mix and mingle, and indeed a tour on the cacao producing countries.

Feb 26 – Chocolate and Wine pairing with Slow food Mexican - Some say it can’t be done, pairing wine with chocolate, but once the right wine is found to complement the right chocolate, it can be a match made in heaven! Whether pairing a delicate white chocolate or a lively dark chocolate with wine, there are a few pairing tips that will be tried at the Mexican Slow Food Night where guests can indulge in a Chocolate and Wine pairing session topped with a Mexican Slow Food Night.
Feb 27 – Italian Winemakers Night dinner – LKR4,500/-nett – From 8pm onwards at the Maitland State Room. The Winemaker from Castello Banfi Enrico Viglierchio and Mount Lavinia Hotels and Resorts very own Chef Riccardo Rossili will be preparing the meal. Then the Weekend of Love from Feb 12 to 14 with the Beach Huts on the Lavinia Beach and the Baywatch Tower igniting for two. Misty a talked about name at MLH will liven up the Terrace on Feb 14 too.

The Chocolate covered Sunday Jazz Brunch on February 13, “we got some great event partners with us who have confirmed their participation in getting this great initiative from strength to strength,” stated Dewapura. Who is a chocoholic himself, his Hershey experience in the US has added to the birth of “An Affair with Chocolate” at the Mount Lavinia Hotel which has now become an annual event in MLH.
Anura Dewapura, general manager of the Mount Lavinia Hotel avers, “I didn’t think I could enhance the chocolate experience, but this is definitely a new sensual experience. Various tastes can either interconnect or collide with the flavours of different bars of chocolates, so you might want to experiment this wonderful initiative”.
There is lot to experience. Call 2711430 for further details.


English High Tea at Galadari

Dazzlingly delicious!

Indulge in an exquisitely palatable afternoon tea buffet with plush delicacies and a fine spread of pure Ceylon tea that will lead you through the astounding journey of the age old English tradition…
Sip that perfect cup of tea while enjoying a variety of light repasts of savouries and pastries and take pleasure in a much needed “tittle-tattle”…
Savour in freshly brewed tea and refresh your mind, body and soul, while our chefs work magic creating the freshest of finger sandwiches, scones and delicate pastries, accompanied with fresh creams, jams and chocolate.
Afternoon high tea at the Galadari is available from January 24 onwards in the elegantly hip Lobby Bar from 3.30pm to 5:30pm.
Guests have the option to savour their tea solo or with a variety of accompaniments available on the signature menu.
With Rs 800/= nett per person, the hotel takes pleasure in offering one complimentary High Tea buffet for every table of ten. and that’s not all, a complimentary cake will be offered for guests celebrating their birthdays accompanied by 10 pax or more, adding a refreshing finale to the elegant and delectably civilised experience.