SAARC Cultural Center stands for strengthening the regional cooperation and understanding by evoking “Unity through Cultural Integration and intellectual dialogue” (Charter for SAARC) at major scale, while restoring, preserving, promoting and appreciating the value of art and culture with the aim of generating the impression of Cultural Identity of each other. Needless to say, “Culture” is what each and every one of us inherit and enjoy with pride, serenity and lifetime enjoyment. On the other hand, Culture is what we represent ourselves within and among the diverse socio- economic platforms to accomplish and embrace the so called customs and norms. In fact, the human civilization claims its identity throughout the history because of its cultural elements and patterns: hence, it is the language, religion, living style as well as enjoyment, repentance and benevolence and much more. Thus, Culture is nothing but everything of human living!!!
Thanks to the 10th SAARC Summit held in Colombo, in 1998, for propagating the initial stepping stone towards the development of the Concept Paper to establish a SAARC Cultural Center to accomplish the above goal, and the 15th Summit, also held in Colombo for implementing the SAARC Cultural Center in its full operation steering from Colombo. Further, the 13th SAARC Summit held in Dhaka has correctly identified the pivotal role played by Culture in terms of sustaining the values and diverse aspects for “Bringing the People of South Asia Closer.”
Having the state of art understanding of the immense value of Culture, Sri Lanka is proud to become hosting the SAARC Cultural Center, as one of the partner Centers for SAARC Regional Cooperation, through which, I believe that we can treat the nations of our region more contemporaneously than any other. The simple reason is that the “Culture” and the knowledge on Culture we share is so dynamic and creative, and unique to each one us, however, is an integral part of our life itself. It has two facets: tangible and intangible as we call it, yet vast in its scope when intermingled with human life. As the nominated and appointed Agent to address such a beautiful aspect of human life, it is a promise that the SAARC Cultural Center, Colombo takes every step to nurture and inculcate the awareness of the fine characteristics of Culture that encompasses the universal need to date: “Peace and Harmony” by valuing and upgrading the prolonged understanding of human life by each other.
Within that framework, SAARC Cultural Center implements, promotes and exhibits the significant contributions of our nations to achieve the above mentioned target areas and since 2010, Sri Lanka as the host country, has a long established plan to become the “Cultural Hub” on a diverse platform to promote, preserve, manage, automate and continue research on Cultural elements i.e. Dance & Drama, Music, Arts and Crafts, heritage sites and folk culture etc., of South Asian Nations, and I wish and hope that during my tenure as the Directress, I will be able to attain some of its targeted goals with the support and cooperation of the dignitaries of the eight member states and the host Government!!
Professor (Mrs.) Prashanthi Narangoda
SAARC Cultural Center, Colombo