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Expo 2020 Dubai: Taste Ceylon tea, explore maritime history at Sri Lanka pavilion

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 2, 2021

(Supplied photo)

Located in the Opportunity District, the pavilion focuses on the island’s three key pillars — authenticity, compactness and diversity

Experience tranquillity, serenity and healing at the Sri Lanka pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The pavilion, which re-introduces the planning principles of the ancient civilisation to life, is designed by an award-winning team from the University of Moratuwa in Colombo and was inaugurated at the Expo on Friday.

Located in the Opportunity District, the 300-square-metre pavilion focuses on the island’s three key pillars — authenticity, compactness and diversity.

“At the pavilion, visitors will immerse in an experience inspired by water – emphasizing the value of adaptability and agility, the will to transform challenges into opportunities,” said Nalinda Wijerathna, consul general of Sri Lanka to Dubai and the Northern Emirates and the deputy commissioner-general for Expo.

“Display screens at the pavilion spotlight unique facets of our island nation. The senses of the visitors will be engaged to gain information on the island’s rich culture and heritage, natural ecosystems and wildlife through these cinematic creations,” he said.

The opening ceremony featured a welcome procession with song 'Magul bera' and a traditional Kandyan dance performance.

“Sri Lanka has a rich and unique maritime history with shipping, trade and cultural links. Inspired by an aquatic theme, the pavilion creates a warm and welcoming space for all visitors and highlights its potential as one of the most delightful destinations in the world to visit," Wijerathna said.

Visitors can unravel the secret of the world-famous Ceylon tea, from leaf to cup. They can even enjoy a hot cup on their journey from the special tea corner, courtesy of the Sri Lankan Tea Board.

The retail space facilitated by the Export Development Board will boast an array of Sri Lankan produce ranging from spices to beautiful Batik clothing.

The Sri Lanka pavilion will host a range of events, including a fashion show featuring traditional batik designs, a wedding show branding Sri Lanka as a prime wedding and honeymoon destination, a cultural dance show and a drum festival illustrating Sri Lanka’s rich cultural legacy.

A children’s storytelling session will feature works by the late Sybil Wettasinghe, renowned children’s books author, representing Sri Lanka’s rich literary heritage.

Furthermore, Sri Lankan artist Yohani de Silva, who sings the viral track ‘Manike Mage Hithe’, is expected to perform on January 3, 2022.

Kimarli Fernando, Sri Lanka tourism chairperson and commissioner-general for Expo for Sri Lanka, said: “Post-Covid travellers are looking for tranquillity, peace, serenity and healing and Sri Lanka is uniquely positioned with an amazing offering. A walk in our mountains, a dip in our nature’s ponds, a glimpse through our history and culture will create a lasting memory."

Malraj de Silva, ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UAE, said: “Sri Lanka is proud to be part of Expo 2020 Dubai. We have three messages for the world. First being our investment opportunities in tourism, port city and other areas, the second being our world-class tea, gems and spices. The third is we want the world to enjoy the best of what Sri Lanka offers to the world.”

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for over ten years. For Khaleej Times, she covers NRI affairs, civil aviation, and immigration issues among other things. She completed her BA in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves food, and is mom to an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever. Tweet at her @shootsprintrite.





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