The Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo honors Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore
By Dr Srimal Fernando, Asia Correspondent
On the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Tagore , Rabindra Sangeet performance titled “The Legacy of Santiniketan” was hosted by the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) in Colombo at the Havelock Road , Buddhist Cultural Centre (BCC) auditorium on 8th May, 2012.
World-renowned Nobel Laureate Rabidranath Tagore’s work on art, literature, theatre, music and dance contributed to the revival of culture in India and in Sri Lanka in a very significant manner. Gurudev Tagore composed the national anthems “Amar Shonar Bangla” for Bangladesh and “Jana Gana Mana for the Republic of India. The Visva-Bharati University in Shantiniketan was founded by him.
Tagore visited Sri Lanka in 1922, 1928 and in 1934. During the pre and post Independence period of Sri Lanka, prominent artists such as Ananda Samarakoon , Chitrasena and Sunil Shantha associated Visva Bharati University (VBU) Shantiniketan in India. In the past six decades one can find a mixture of various arts and cultural scenarios in Sri Lanka of which works of Gurudev Tagore had a very strong influence on Sri Lankan culture.
The birth centenary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was celebrated last year in many South Asian countries including Sri Lanka. During the opening remarks at the commemoration of the Sri Lankan celebrations the narrator highlighted that last year a special postal stamp was released by the Government of Sri Lanka and a volume “Remembering Rabindranath Tagore” was published in remembrance of the Nobel Laureate.
To mark the birth of Gurudev Tagore the Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo invited more than 300 guests to attend a music and dance performance in tribute of Gurudev Tagore on May 8th this year. .Many Indian friends of Sri Lanka, Indian classical music lovers and several distinguished guests were present at this commemoration.
After the arrival of the Minister for National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Ashok. K. Kantha joined the guests at the hall. The event started with a lighting of the traditional oil lamp.
The cultural programme followed with a performance by renowned Sri Lankan singer Weerasena Gunathilake. The guests also had the opportunity to enjoy raga, talas and the melodic modes that has rhythmical notes from renowned artists Thilini Rodrigo, Charith Perera, Pradeep Rathnayake and Chandana Wickramasinghe, who performed at the Gurudev Tagore commemoration.