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Creating plays in both languages
Janakaraliya - Theatere Of the People
Janakaraliya Theatere Of the People

Creating plays in both languages

Owing to the burning ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka for the past few decades, which is not yet solved, a split was created between Sinhala and Tamil artistes in language use and use of all formats of arts. The political background for this split is discussed in page (01) Starting Janakaraliya activities. As a result of these specifics Sinhala and Tamil people stopped learning and using each others’ languages. Also Tamil performers stopped acting in Sinhala dramas while Sinhala actors stopped performing in Tamil dramas. Cultural ties among artistes of different communities have broken resulting severing relationships between Sinhala and Tamil artistes. Living in the same country, the Sinhala artistes limited their creations for Sinhalese while Tamil artistes aimed their creations only for the Tamil community. In this manner both communities lost opportunities to experience, appreciate and feel each other’s melancholies and bliss.

Aesthetics arts reach beyond languages and ethnic divisions and provide for co-existence in pluralistic societies. This was not the experience in Sri Lanka where ethnic egos were being played up to sustain a protracted war. Cultural activities were compartmentalized in Sinhala and Tamil languages separately. War even made exchange of experience very much harder between the two ethnic societies. It was therefore a necessity to provide good examples of cultural co-existence that nurture good drama and theatre. Production of all plays by Janakaraliya in both Sinhala and Tamil languages gave mutual access to every ethnic group. This in fact was a wholly new experience in Sri Lankan theatre. There had been no instances of Sinhala and Tamil artistes coming together for joint creations, before Janakaraliya experimented with it. Thus this was another first in Sri Lankan art. Now Janakaraliya plays are produced in both languages making it two different production for evry Janakaraliya drama. In this manner Janakaraliya set precedent of Sinhala actors performing Tamil dramas and Tamil actors performing in Sinhala dramas.

Picture Galary

Janakaraliya has many important and positive deviations from traditional drama, all encompassed in it, include in Sekkuwa, Soru Awilla - Thein Kallan, Watoluwo saha Uloluwo, Wenkatti Wattanam, Charandas, Charandas Kallan, Chekku, Devlo Gamana - Devlo Payanam, Erukkalam Poo, Andaramal, Hunuwataya, Kora Saha Andhaaya, Kurudanum Nondiyanum, Makararaksha, Meti Karattaya Seethambarapata Mayapattadai. Here some gathered memorable moments among them.

Track Records

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