Avurudhu in Australian Alps | Sunday Observer

Avurudhu in Australian Alps

23 April, 2023
Avurudhu games in progress
Avurudhu games in progress

Not far from the highest point of Mt. Kosciusko in the Australia Alps, a group of Sri Lankan families last week marked the Sinhala Hindu New Year in an unprecedented scale on Saturday (15).

About 20 Sri Lankan families consisting mainly of engineers, technicians, geologists and other specialists connected to a major renewable hydro energy project called the ‘Snowy 2.0’ organised the event.

Based in the small and beautiful town of Cooma in the snowy mountains, the families had grown as the project progressed from about 20, bringing the number of Sri Lankan men, women and children to about 100 within the past year.

In a vibrant festival at the Lions Park just outside town beneath tall pines whispering to the blue skies, Sri Lankans did their motherland proud.

In colourful traditional dresses, batik sarees, lungis and sarongs, they welcomed families of friends and workmates from foreign lands to experience the Sri Lankan culture and hospitality.

“It is magnificent and so well organised” said Yvi Henderson, Manager of the Cooma Multicultural Council showing off her beautiful saree.

Calling it the first and an unprecedented event by the Sri Lankan community, she hoped that many more would follow.

The Australian, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and the Sri Lankan flag added colour to the event which started off with the traditional lighting of the lamp by invitees and the organisers.

Young children watched in anticipation as a pot of milk boiled and all were invited to the Avurudhu tables laden with kavum, kokis, aasmi, kiributh and dodol among other delicacies.

Competitions for children of all ages and adults followed. People from different nationalities and cultures mixed in friendship.

The Avurudhu lunch came as a surprise to some with yellow rice, dhal, chicken curry, ambulthiyal, batu moju among other traditional foods. Salads and western style food were provided for the non-adventurous.

The festivities’ went on till late with a tug-of-war culminating the event at dusk.