Letter to the Editor – Is this the only mode of celebration we can think of?
Posted on April 17th, 2012

By Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai Dehiwela.

The dawn of Sinhala and Tamil New-year  this year was marred by a horrible mode  of  celebration “”…” the firecrackers.

The New year if anything should have been a serene, peaceful  celebration with profitable ganu thenu. On the contrary  w hen the nakathe time arrived we heard firecrackers going on and on nonstop for over an  hour or so. Then it continued sporadically for about another hour. Whenever the firecrackers started the stray dogs started barking and continued for another 5 minutes! It was anything but serene New Year dawning!

It is a pity our Srilankans being so educated cannot still find a saner way to celebrate our happiness. It is the same with Christmas, cricket winnings, political results etc. Needless to elaborate there is nothing good about firecrackers. It is an utter waste of  money “”…” just being burnt, it is dangerous and causes ugly mess at the end of it “”…” and most of all causes horrible noise pollution. Burning our resources and causing  utter irritation “”…” is this the way to welcome the new year?

I have never allowed my children to play with fire crackers ever.

We are a nation trying to recover from the ugly scars of war and what we need lest is the noise of firecrackers similar  to the shooting and bombs we used to hear day in day out just a few years ago.

Is it that some politicians or mudalalis  trying to market their share of firecrackers and  are we being really really stupid to fall in line with them? It is time we thought of another way of celebration “”…” a real happy way, a pleasant way a serene way.

We must come out with a solution before the next celebration. The least we can do is to promote shunning of the fire crackers. So please think of never buying fire crackers and planning with your neighbors to shun them. Persuade the fire cracker vendors that the business they are doing is harming the country and to change their commodity.  Write to fire cracker manufacturers to give up this business, or if at all, to promote common  large scale colorful display of  fire works at  safe distance from the crowds, like what the westerners do,  which are safer, less ear splitting and certainly enjoyable!


By Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai



5 Responses to “Letter to the Editor – Is this the only mode of celebration we can think of?”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Dr. Mareena:

    I think what you are saying – fire crackers going for two hours should be an indication of people becoming rich.

    How can you help that. With every good thing TEN bad things also come.

    If people are imitating the so-called luxury life style they also become very easily invalids and die young.

    People like to be crabs in boiling water.

  2. mjaya Says:

    Well, I’d rather light a fire cracker and innocently celebrate Avurudu than kill an innocent goat like you may be familiar with. BTW, hope the Saudis will continue their celebration during daily beheadings, amputations and lashings. And yes, like Rohana I’d also tell the Muazzin to put a sock in it!

  3. Dham Says:

    Looks like complaining manic woman got mad this time.
    I was in Qatar last year during teir form of “new year ” hoilidays called Eid al-Adha.
    reason for this celebration goes like this.
    “One of Abraham’s main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah’s will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his “sacrifice” had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superceded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.”

    It is really sickening to watch, not only to me , even to westerners. Aninals are taken along streets , killed and meat distributed as their version “dana”.

    How intolerable is to us ?

  4. Vijendra Says:

    Mareena, you make real sense to me. It is really stupid to light firecrackers as it is a waste of money, causes noise pollution and also causes serious environmental pollution. Many get injured as well. So you are right to say that Si Lankans should find another way to celebrate special occasions. In the olden days, all did not have clocks or watches and the noise from the fire crackers indicated the auspicious time. Today, it is different. All have watches, clocks, radios, TVs and ready access to time.

    In the past, Sri Lankans enjoyed the New Year by taking part in the village festivals where many traditional games were played. There was “chuck gudu”, “pora pol”, sports festivals etc, which we seem to have lost for good. Also, there was lot of “raban” playing, “seepada” singing, “ran onchilla” and the like, which provided entertainment and physical exercise for the people. They formed an important part of the Sri Lankan culture, once upon a time. We seem to have lost all these now.

    People of Sri Lanka have a lot to learn about noise pollution. Look at the amount of tooting of the horns from vehicles on the roads! They virtually “drive” with the horn. Whether it is noise of prayers from Muslim mosques, pirith from Buddhist temples or any other unsolicited public broadcasts, those who do not want to listen to them should not be subjected to their noise pollution. It must be restricted only to those who care to listen to them. They should not be forced on those who do not want to listen to them, unless it is something soft and melodic like the music from the “paan kaaraya” in the morning. Loud and unsolicited noise is definitely a serious invasion of privacy and freedom of the people.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    What a foolish way to celebrate?

    But of course it is still innocent compared to killing animals (and stoning humans) to celebrate Eid!
    And SCREAMING over loudspeakers at 5 am in the morning advertising for some kind of a “bar”.

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