SL BB Project : Kola Kenda
As appeared in the Sunday Times
By Ishani Ranasinghe
Experiencing national pride does not come along every day. Hence when it does come along it’s a nice feeling that overwhelms you. The need to be a part of it comes from within, and that is what Kola Kenda for the Sri Lankan Soul is hoping to achieve. Targeting Sri Lankans who would like to experience a sense of national pride this book is a compilation of stories written by Sri Lankans for Sri Lankans on the theme of Sri Lankan pride.
Feeling under the weather ? How about a cup of kola kenda?
Kola Kenda for the Sri Lankan Soul, is an initiative of the Core Group Members of Beyond Borders, which is a Connecting Futures project of the British Council providing a platform for young people from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and the UK to come together to share and address issues related to identity, diversity and active citizenship.
The project focuses on building greater mutual understanding, learning and respect while developing an understanding of active global citizenship which is the theme assigned for 2005. A unique element in this project is that its agenda of activities were designed by young people for young people.
This book of short stories will encompass the sentiments that Sri Lankans have about Sri Lanka, be it why they are proud to be Lankan, what they love most about their country, experiences that they could have only in Sri Lanka, occasions when they were helped by Sri Lankans, or absolutely anything else!
Stories/articles featured in this book will be from people coming from varied age and social groups, ethnicities and walks of life. The effort will also hopefully attract articles from eminent personalities (in the entertainment, sports, etc, industries), academics, business professionals, social and political activists, school children, core group members, personal family and friends, people residing out of the Colombo city limits, children, etc.
Speaking to the group behind this venture, Nafisa Asgerally, the Group Leader of the project said that this gives an opportunity to document the feelings of people on why they are proud to be Sri Lankan, helps all Sri Lankans identify themselves simply as Sri Lankans, by putting all of their experiences on one common platform – this book, and facilitate a medium through which Sri Lankans could be made aware of the achievements of fellow Nationals, and thus have more pride in being a Sri Lankan.
The thought behind the name Kola Kenda for the Sri Lankan soul – ‘kola kenda’ a very Sri Lanka preparation, usually consumed when feeling under the weather or just consumed to feel good. Kola kenda for the Sri Lankan Soul is an attempt to be the ‘way out’ for the Sri Lankan ‘soul’ when feeling down, depressed, or simply needs some inspiration… it will do for the soul what kola kenda does for one’s health.
Why such a project would be more effective than others is that this book will attract articles from the rich, the famous, the not-so-rich, the not-so-famous, the young, the old, the professionals, the common-man… people whom ‘everybody’ would be able to find some link with and whom they could relate to. Additionally, this book would be a long-lasting document, which is just more than a glance at a slogan on the street, or a sticker on a car… it could be referred to in times of need (of inspiration) and passed down to generations. This really is a perfect chance to put your creativity and writing skills to the test and be a part of what looks like to be a pretty interesting project.
They have already categorised the topics under which you can submit your stories, but you must remember that since the topic given is pretty general, you can just about write on anything you like.
The book will be divided into five different sections, in which you can write and you really don’t have to limit yourself to just one article.
They encourage you to send as many as you want even if its just a few lines long. What matters is catching the essence of the topic you choose.
This book, reaching across all communities and societies, will give citizens of Sri Lanka one common identity, that of being a Sri Lankan.
This would help in combating, to a certain extent, the ethnic divide in the country, which is definitely a need of the hour.
Send your articles
All articles submited for the book should be mailed to – Kola Kenda, Beyond Borders, c/o British Council, 49, Alfred House, Gardens, Colombo 3 or email@example.com.