A true New Year holiday got celebrated by students at South Ural State University.
In the middle of April (on 13th or 14th day), when the sun moves from the twelfth house of the zodiac (the sign of Pisces) to the first house (the sign of Aries), Sri Lankan people celebrate their national New Year - Aluth Avurudda. This holiday is celebrated by two Sri Lankan nations: Sinhalese and Tamils. The New Year signifies harvest of rice and symbolizes the end of one solar cycle and the beginning of the new one.
“The Sri Lankan New Year is very different from our Russian New Year. On New Year’s Eve, Sri Lankan people can neither work, nor have fun, not even bath. They need to purify spiritually, to meditate. But there is certain time when all people simultaneously start switching back to their ordinary daily routine, and local television starts broadcasting this,” says international student affairs specialist, Valeria Chachina.
The celebration began with a video presentation about relationships between Russia and Sri Lanka prepared by international students; after that the students told about their country.
In the course of event, international students presented artistic performances on the occasion of New Year celebration. As Sri Lankan people say, Aluth Avurudda is a unique and one-of-a-kind holiday which unites Hinduists and Buddhists. It gives blessing to all living in the world and brings peace and luck in every deed.
Lighting up the first fire in the New Year is traditional for residents of Sri Lanka. In order to perform this ritual, students invited heads and employees of SUSU’s International Affairs Division, Association of International Students and many others; after that everybody exchanged memorable gifts.
Culmination of the event was the National Anthem of Sri Lanka sang by international students.
Guests of the New Year celebration took part in funny competitions and enjoyed the celebratory dinner with national treats.
“We cooked national dishes for the guests. It was a bit difficult as we only had a couple of days. We have spicy dishes but there are not many of them. We also cooked rice with meat by a Sri Lankan recipe; you have a similar dish in Russia called ‘plov’. We don’t cook meat for the New Year in Sri Lanka, but today we made an exception for Russian students and teachers, so we cooked meat cutlets and fish; therefore you are welcome to taste it all!” says a Sri Lankan student of SUSU’s Institute of Linguistics and International Communication, Uvindu Wijeweera.
Russian students had a chance to experience the unusual New Year celebration as well.
“I liked the concert and got a lot of positive emotions. It was amazing to watch such extraordinary artistic performances. Also, I liked national treats because there were both spicy and sweet dishes,” says ILIC’s freshman student, Ivan Parkhomchuk.
At the non-formal part of the celebration, students took part in funny competitions organized by students of the Institute of Linguistics and International Communication.