Monday 14th April is New Years day in Sri Lanka and is truly celebrated in style. Fire crackers start the day early and milk is boiled, kiribath made and lots and lots of sweet sugary treats adorn the tables of all Sri Lankan homes. Gifts of colourful traditional clothing are exchanged and everyone dances late into the night.
Here at SEDA Vocational Training Centre it was no different, although we celebrated early, we celebrated with much laughter, happiness, sugar, and lots and lots of dancing!
After a busy first month at the centre it was time to put down the scissors and glue, leave the envelopes and bags aside; now it was time for the young trainees to let their hair down and have some fun. The centre was awakened at 9am with a rainbow of brightly coloured tradition sarongs and skirts worn by all the trainees, accessorized of course with their bright orange uniform tops. It was a feast for the eyes and momentarily drew my attention away from the table full of sweet treats in the centre of the room!
But i think what really touched me on this special day of celebration was coming next, back in the VTC the music had started to play and the vibes were starting to excite the trainees even further. One by one the more confident ones grabbed the hands of their friends and made some space, as i looked around the girls were starting to move their hips to the rhythm, and the guys were stepping to the beat. Enticing me in one girl started to move her arms just like all the traditional Sri Lankan dancers ive seen at festivals, the boys followed suit moving their arms like all the vibrant male dancers at our wedding a few months prior. Before i knew it i was pulled in and dancing with the most passionate dancers i had seen, hips bouncing, arms enticing, boys clapping and stamping, smiles abound from every view i had. Some of the guys took the hands of some of the girls and started swirling them around, it was like Strictly Come Dancing had taken over SEDA Sri Lanka.