Majestic Kovils – Aura of stillness, dedicated to spirituality 0 756

Majestic Kovils – Aura of stillness, dedicated to spirituality

By: Savannah Audrey

Source: Wikipedia

A Hindu temple is a symbolic house, seat and body of God. It is a structure designed to bring human beings and gods together, using symbolism to express the ideas and beliefs of Hinduism. The symbolism and structure of a Hindu temple are rooted in Vedic traditions, deploying circles and squares.

Majestic Kovils – Aura of stillness, dedicated to spiritualityA Hindu temple is popularly known as Mandiram, Devaalayam or Devastanam, meaning the shrine, abode or place of God.

For the people on earth the Hindu Temple serves as a sacred place (devasthanam) or a place of pilgrimage (thirthasthalam) and heaven on earth. Functionally it brings gods and humans together and gives them an opportunity to help each other.

 

Majestic Kovils – Aura of stillness, dedicated to spirituality

Humans make offerings to the Gods and nourish them with food and devotional offerings of prayers, songs, etc., while the gods reciprocate by protecting them from diseases, misfortunes and calamities, removing their difficulties, cleansing their sins or helping them achieve the four aims of human life namely Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.

 

Majestic Kovils – Aura of stillness, dedicated to spirituality

Hinduism has a long tradition and is the oldest religion in Sri Lanka. More than 2000 years of civilization has been proved so far from Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. Hinduism is dominant in the North and Eastern Provinces, where there are predominantly Tamil people. Hinduism is also practiced in the central regions (where there are a significant numbers of Indian Tamil descent) as well as in many other parts as well.

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Glistering Portraits 0 1009

By: T.V Perera

One reason Sri Lanka is referred to as a resplendent island attributes to its colourful gems in Ratnapura, Elahera, Embilipitiya, Okkampitiya in Buttala and several other places. Among the precious stones un-earthed from gem pits in Buttala are rubies, sapphires, cat’s eyes, moon-stones and garnets. Stones found in rough from are cut and polished by gem-cutters following which their values are assessed based on purity (free of blemish) and weight measured in terms of caratage – a carat being equal to 200 milligrams. Polished gems adorn jewellery, the crown of royalty, and in the past handles of swords of kings. 

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A third grade of although colourful stones were thrown back into the pits in similar manner as stone shavings and filings were discarded as obsolete and of no utility value until things took a turn when gem cutter Saman Ajith Bandara embarked on an artistic handicraft project, producing brightly coloured portraits, wall hangings, photo frames, plaque designs and sceneries with gem shavings and found a ready market for his products.

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In an interview with BiZnomics, Bandara who has his workshop in Buttala said, “I collected shavings of natural stones in their separate colours, which otherwise would have been discarded and began my industry on a small scale”. Explaining previously when shavings were used ha says, “The only instance gem shaving are made use of is when they are filled into small clay pots and hung from roof beams with pure astrological meaning to ward off evil. On a traced map of Sri Lanka, I pasted the shavings giving each topographical district a different colour. Finally I had a 25 coloured map of Sri Lanka”. Bandara’s effort proved to be an instant success as he described, “I took the map to Ratnapura where a gem merchant paid me Rs.6000 on the spot for my handcrafted frame which provided me the necessary encouragement to produce more pictures”.

Glistering-Drawings-03As orders increased, Bandara quit his gem cutting job to devote full time to the new venture, and to assist him secured the services of a close relative Indika who with time, become joint partner of the Crest Mineral Creatines Company they formed in the year 2000. The company presently count 15 artistically talented employees who contribute to its high earnings.

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“Phenomenal Woman” Jessica Heath 0 1816

There is a sensational rhythm to her walk, the way she speaks, even her actions in the kitchen. She has her own styles and characteristics. Born to an American father and a Sri Lankan mother, she is blessed with a glowing beauty, stimulating smile and of course her long legs earns bewildered looks from those in the vicinity. 

Being in the top 40 contestants of season 8 MasterChef USA, beating 50,000 plus contestants and enduring a five-month audition process, Jessica introduced some of the Sri Lankan cuisines with a touch of sophistication to them. 

Strongly influenced by her grandmother, a Dutch-Burgher descent, who guided Jessica’s culinary journey with her expert hands, Jessica recalls about her childhood with unity, laughter and the sweet aroma emanating from the kitchen as her grandma concocted the most flavorful dishes. 

 “CEYLOVE; From Sri Lanka with Spice” written by Jessica is indeed a treat to all food lovers. The book perfectly conveys her admiration and respect for her inheritance and mother’s homeland through a collection of family recipes, stories, travels and life experiences. Her culinary makings draw on her Sri Lankan origins as well as her fashion and modeling background. She focuses on providing modern and fresh takes to traditional Sri Lankan dishes, often fusing with other cuisines from around the world. 

What is quite special about this book is that 90% of its photographs and designs were done by her. “Sri Lankan food should come first” Jessica said admiring Sri Lankan cuisine. 

Having graced the covers and billboards of the world, BiZnomics takes pride in speaking to this amazing woman who took our own Sri Lankan cuisine to the global platform;

I tried my best to show people that eating Sri Lankan food carries a host of pleasures, from style, color, aroma, ambience, and pleasurable palate from fingers to mouth contact – eating with our hands.

Q&A With – Jessica Heath

Q; What made you want to take part in MasterChef?

A; It was an incredible opportunity that literally came right to my doorstep. The auditions happened to be right in the heart of Washington DC, my hometown, so I jumped at the chance to showcase my Sri Lankan culinary skills.

Q: How did you know you had what it takes to become a Master Chef?

A: Sometimes in life you never know anything for certain, yet there is burning desire to move forward and try. It is your inner voice that says ‘I can do this’. You survey the competition and innately know you have what it takes. That is essentially what happened to me. It helped that I had the knowledge of an exceptionally colorful cuisine under my belt.

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By: Chantal D.
Image courtesy: Tish De Alwis, Mauriel Silva
Cover Picture: Tish De Alwis
Post Production: Dilsh
Book Cover Picture: Prishan Pandithage