Washington DC, July 12: Choreographic Talents of young Sri Lankan Americans dazzled an audience of US State Department officials, diplomats and guests on Thursday at a cultural performance held at the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the US State Department in Washington DC. The Event was the 3rd Annual Cultural Diversity Event organized by the South Asian American Employees Association (SAAEA) of the United States Department of State.
Sri Lankan dance artistes performed in five out of six cultural programmes featured in the event, exhibiting the richness and diversity of their 2500 year cultural heritage. The Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC assisted in organizing the Sri Lankan – American performers for the event.
“Ukusa Wannama (Eagle Dance)” was performed by Mrs. Asanga Domask and her students at City Dance Ensemble -Misses; Sitare Sadeghi , Thilini Kuruppu and Master Kishan Dharmasena performed the “Mayura Wannama (Peacock Dance); two ancient Sri Lankan dances depicting the Kandyan traditions. Ms. Prabuddi Weerasinge performed a traditional dance item to a Sinhala folk song representing Sri Lanka’s farming culture. Mrs. Chathuri Wickramarachchi and her students Misses; Natalia Adikarige, Amali Perera , Fenoli Lowe, and Dinali Weeraman, of Ethnic Studio created the environment for a grand finale with a fusion dance improvised from Kandyan, Sabaragamuwa and low country traditions.
Young Sri Lankan American artistes also performed in the South Indian Bharat Dance performance choreographed by Indian American Choreographer Mrs. Rani David.
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert Blake delivering the key note address opined that South Asian Americans have made a significant contribution to the US society as a whole.
He highlighted the contribution made by South Asians as the best example to exemplify how much the United States value diversity.
“Diversity is indeed the greatest strength of the United States, and I think South Asians themselves are the prime example how much we value diversity of our own culture”, he added.
SAAEA Chairman Mohammad Saifullah in his welcome remarks stated that the opportunity offered by the US constitution has enabled the South Asian Americans to flourish in almost all fields. He pointed out that it is the duty of the South Asian Americans to give of their best to the United States while helping to bridge the American culture with the culture of their heritage.
Manjaula Dissanayake, president of Educate Lanka also addressed the audience.
The event was well attended by diplomats of the South Asian countries, US State Department officials, and members of the South Asian –American community and invitees.
Embassy of Sri Lanka