Asian International School, Colombo celebrated April 6 (Wednesday) the avurudu festival, in their own unique way. It was an occasion for students to relax and let their hair down, literally. Students were in colourful traditional costumes. Some of them had used their creativity to combine traditional clothing with modern outfit, to add variety to the event. It was a day they got out of uniforms and wore colourful sarongs, lungi, cheeththa, dhothi and more.
Avurudu Kumari and Kumaraya ‘assembly’, organized by the Inter Faith Club, took place in the school courtyard. It was an event enjoyed by the whole school, judging by the cheer that rang out from students, as their friends paraded onto the stage to the music. The principal, Dr Mrs Goolbai Gunasekara, announced the winners. She explained to the students that only those in traditional outfits were considered as participants. For form three, avurudu kumari was Sakina Aliasger and Avurudu Kumaraya was Daniel David. From senior class, there were two Avurudu Kumari categories, one for Sinhala costume and other for Tamil costume. Malsha Nayannakara won the Sinhala costume category while Brunda Pathmanathan emerged victorious in the Tamil costume category. The Avurudu Kumaraya was selected from five finalists, based on the ‘loudness’ of the applause from the audience, received by each finalist. Vaishnavan Sritharan was crowned Kumaraya, among the cheers, hooting and screaming that rained upon him from his fellow students.
The event was followed by Avurudu pola, organised by Domanee Premachandra, head of the junior school. This was an event where parents brought baked goods and various homemade items and sold them at the stalls set up in the school yard. This pola was attended by parents, students and teachers. There were cakes, brownies, truffles, Bombay sweets, Indian food, dosa that was made on the spot, kawum, kokis and aasmi, sweet meat prepared in different ways, snacks, achcharu, fruit juice and many more to fulfill a healthy appetite.
In addition to food, there were books, cosmetics and hover boarding, which seemed very popular among the students. As Rashida Galaly, a parent, said, “It’s a superb opportunity for the home bakers to show their ware. It’s nice to see all these kids coming to get the goodies. I have two girls here and they all keep bringing their friends to buy from my stall.”
In the courtyard, there was music and dancing. It was mixture of baila, Sinhala and English songs. Some were sung by students. It was definitely a day of play for the students, so that they don’t turn dull after all the school work. They seemed to enjoy the day to the fullest letting their creativity flow free. Abhi, Arjun, Prakash and Adrian, who resembled drug lords, in their printed shirts, gold lined dhothis, many gold chains and bracelets, said, “We wanted to do something unique this year because this is our last year. We tried this outfit inspired by a Tamil film called Maari, which starred Dhanush. It turned out to be unique, as we got a special appreciation from our principal.”
Swetha, another senior, said,” this is our last year at school, at Avurudu pola. I am with the ‘thugs’ here, Abhi, Arjun, Prakash and Adrian, we had so much fun parading for the Avurudu Kumaraya and Kumari.”