“May the sun bestow light brightest upon my motherland!”🇱🇰
Sri Lanka celebrates its 72 years as an independent republic. On 4th of February in 1948, the island state in the Indian Ocean declared its sovereignty from Great Britain. The greatest celebrations for Sri Lankan National Day happen in the capital city of Colombo. Sri Lankans take interest in social exhibitions, marches, flag raising ceremony and a speech-driven by the president. In additional to commending its autonomy, the nation also pays tribute to Sri Lanka’s heroes by observing two minutes of silence in their memory.
“Light up their world 2.0” is not something new to all of us, since everyone has heard of this name and many have participated and have made memories with the beautiful souls at Morawinna Balika😌
Therefore, we thought of doing something special for our very own sisters, on the 1st of February, since the Independence Day was coming up. Even though it was Saturday, we visited them in the usual way and the kids asked, “What are we doing today?” and I entered the place replying that “We are going to celebrate the Independence Day!!” and the kids were overjoyed when they heard that🤩 Since they were so excited to see what we have brought to them, some hung on to my hand to see those and the rest was expressing their excitement by jumping up & down and running all over the place as soon as they saw the A3 papers which I kept on the table! (They knew that they’ll be getting an activity to color).
First, we had planned to give them a short essay about “My country” and later to do the coloring activity. Therefore, it was so hard to convince them to sit down and start writing the essay🙊 Anyhow, the volunteers explained the meaning of each word until all the children could understand to read and write that short essay. The essay covered points such as the beauty of the country, national sport, flower, animal & tree and why they love their country. Meanwhile the little girls were given with an A4 sheet, where they had to color the National flag of Sri Lanka correctly while using the appropriate colors.
We did not forget to teach them, the meaning of every component in our multicolored national flag, featuring a gold lion is to depict the bravery of Sri Lankan and the lion with a sword in hand is for the sovereignty of the country. The design of the flag has its roots in the legend of the founder of Sri Lanka, Prince Vijaya from Sinhapura (“Lion City”), India. The lion stands in a crimson square surrounded by four leaves of the bo (බෝ) tree, which symbolizes the four Buddhist virtues of joy, kindness, compassion, and equanimity (මෙත්තා, කරුණා, මුදිතා, උපෙක්ඛා). The maroon background is to represent the Sinhalese, orange and green vertical stripes represent the island’s Hindu and Muslim communities and finally the yellow border is to show the unity of Sri Lankans.
Next up was the most awaited activity😍, which was the coloring activity. The kids were given with a drawing for them to color, which depicts the independence and unity among all the cultures. We were surprised to see the way that the kids used the colors to make their drawings more attractive. Some wanted us to be there with them to guide on which colors to use, while some continuously showed us their drawings to get a feedback and get share their happiness with us! They do that frequently to get attention from us, which is very sweet and yet it is sad at times, since we cannot give them what they expect 🥺 Which is the mother’s love and affection. Whenever we visit them, we make sure to keep them happy while our stay with them and trying not to hurt them even with a single word.
The main aim of organizing this special day was to teach the children the true meaning of celebrating the Independence day, to educate them about our country while sharing our knowledge with them, to teach them the components in our national fag, to teach them to respect all other religions irrespective of their culture or creed, to produce more responsible and fruitful citizens to the society. These valuable lessons should be taught to every kid at the very young age to create a better tomorrow!💪🏻
Want to witness how the kids celebrated this Independence Day?!👇🏻
Written by –
Rtr. Pulith Jayarathne
Director – Community Services 2019/20