The Festival of lights! – Vesak Poya 0 822

Vesak, commemorates the three most important milestones in the life of Gautama Buddha – His Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana (Nirvana after Death).

 

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Festival of lights, Vesak is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the month of May. It is one of the biggest days of the year and is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world. Buddhists commemorate the important events that took place in the life of the Buddha on this day which also brings with it shifting seasons; namely, thundering south west monsoon rains and the calling of the seas in the east coast.

First comes the birth of Siddhartha Gauthama in Lumbini in Nepal. It is said that his mother Queen Mahamaya was travelling from Kapilavasthu (her husband’s kingdom) to her father’s kingdom to give birth to her first child, as was the tradition. On the way, her son prince Siddhartha Gauthama was born under a Sal tree in the garden of Lumbini. 

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The second event was Siddartha Gauthama’s supreme attainment as the Buddha, the Enlightened One. At the age of 29, he left his father’s palace in search of the truth, renouncing all worldly possessions and begging for alms in the streets. His search continued through the next few years, until at the age of 35, he attained Enlightenment seated under a Bodhi tree, in a place called Bodh Gaya in India. 

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The third event was Lord Buddha’s parinibbana over 2500 years ago at Kusinagar. The Buddha was 80 years, travelling with Ananda Thero preaching the Dhamma, but his health was steadily deteriorating. His parinirvana (Passing away) occurred in a peaceful grove of Sal trees in Kusinagar, surrounded by his disciple monks. It is said that the Sal trees, in spite of not being in season, bloomed and shed their pale yellow petals on him as he passed away into Nirvana. 

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Glistering Portraits 0 748

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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Modesty and Beauty – the lost connection 0 602

BizNomics - Chandi

BiZnomics LIFESTYLE Desk – By Chandi A.

BizNomics Lifestyle Desk - By Chandi ALong dresses and long skirts aren’t my cup of tea. In my teen years I would squirm whenever I had to wear long skirts out to the town. Who would ever show interest in me wearing long skirts or baggy jeans I would question? Guess I am just never going to ever find a boyfriend, I sighed. Dressing modesty wasn’t one of my priorities.

As I grew up and had more control over what I could wear, I was able to strut my stuff, loved the stares and attention that followed. Whether it was my desire for attention in general or being able to capture a man’s attention, it felt darn good.
As a female I am sure you can identify with wanting to dress in the latest fashion and look sexier than the next girl who thinks she is all that. We are socialized to believe that the shorter the hemline and the more skin revealed and of course one eighth of the bosom covered, the sexier we look. But should this really be the case? Through fashion we showcase our personality, sure that is perfectly ok, but do we really need to be skimpy about it?

Ancient Sri Lankan dressing habits illustrate the initial absence of social taboo relating to upper class women exhibiting their breasts. Is there a necessity to repeat history in the 21st century?
When we think of modesty, it is not long skirts and turtle necks. Dressing well is more than just having good taste and style. It is also about knowing your body and knowing what works and what doesn’t. Fashion is not about blindly following trends and styles; it is about wearing something that flatters your figure and reflects your unique style.