Category Archives: heritage

Prince Philip’s Indelible ‘Marks’ in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy of my old student pal Piyasiri Wickramasekara ….more details below

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Don Bradman and Prince Philip

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KD Paranavitana’s Felicitation Volume: A Treasure Trove

 

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Historical Revaluations: The Boundary Books of the Matale District

Gananath Obeyesekere: Historical Revaluations: the Boundary Books of the Matale district[1], being  Chapter 19 in Professor KD Paranavitana Felicitation Volume, edited by Vinie Vitharana & Prasad Fonseka, Colombo, Godage & Bros (pvt ltd) …. ISBN 978-955-30-9035-5

Professor K. D. Paranavitana has not only written important work on t, edit by Vinnie Vitharane Dutch Period in Sri Lanka that has influenced my own writing but he also has been also associated with the National Archives. These archives as well as those in Europe, such as the British Library are replete with popular Sinhala texts that constitute an enormous resource for understanding the pasts of our nation. The term vitti pot or “books of events” is a useful term to broadly characterize this genre of literature.  Among these vitti pot are various boundary books (kaḍaim pot), some dealing with the boundaries of the nation, some with specific regions and some on family genealogies (banḍāravaliya).

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A Restrained but Reconciliatory Feast at St. Anthony’s in Kachchativu in 2021

 

The Jaffna Divisional Secretary informed the public, well in advance, that St. Anthony’s Feast in the Kachchativu island had been cancelled this year due to the Covid- 19 pandemic. The decision was well understood by devotees of both Sri Lanka and India.

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Order of the Rising Sun for Professor Purnendra Jain in Adelaide

ADELAIDE UNIVERSITY New Item

Emeritus Professor Purnendra Jain (School of Social Sciences) was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays With Neck Ribbon by the Consul-General of Japan, Mr. Junji Shimada , in a ceremony on 26 March 2021. 

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Charlie Chaplin in Bali

Tony Donaldson’s Treasure Trove

Here are two photos of Charlie Chaplin in Bali from my collection.

In one photograph, we see Chaplin in a comical moment as if he is conducting a gamelan orchestra in a Balinese village, possibly Ubud.  He could also be dancing in front of the gamelan — for the way his arms and hands are positioned suggest this  We can’t say for sure. The gamelan players are clearly enjoying this moment with Chaplin, with lots of fun and laughter. A gamelan orchestra is led by the kendang (drum) player – the nearest thing to a kind of conductor in a gamelan.

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Sustaining Memory as a Central Facet of Transitional Justice

Gehan Gunatilleke: “The Right to Memory: The Forgotten Facet of Transitional Justice* with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan  Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)

Introduction

Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.

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Ilse Weber: Two Lullabies

Tony Donaldson

Apropos of your item on Jewish lyrics and compositions from the depths of misery in Nazi concentration camps, I convey herewith  two lullabies by the composer Ilse Weber who was sent with her family to Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942. She worked as a nurse in the camp, wrote poems and songs, and performed her songs accompanying herself on the guitar. Here are two songs – a quiet moving lullaby called Wiegala, and the song Ich wandre durch Theresienstadt (I wandered through Theresienstadt). It is said that she sang the song Wiegala while facing her death. She died in Auschwitz in 1944.

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Songs and Music from Auschwitz and Other Concentration Camps

Meagan Flynn, in Washington Post, 17 April 2018, where the title runs thus: “How thousands of songs composed in concentration camps are finding new life”

  Ilse Weber 1903-1944

Ilse Weber, a Jewish poet, was imprisoned at the concentration camp at Terezin in German-occupied Czechoslovakia when she wrote a song called “When I Was Lying Down in Terezin’s Children’s Clinic.” The song was about caring for sick children at the camp where Weber worked as a nurse. She had little-to-no medicine available. But she had her poetry and her music — some of which her husband managed to salvage by hiding the written verses in a garden shed after her death at Auschwitz in 1944.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp 

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