Fourth Session of the SAARC Talk Series 2024

SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo is presenting its upcoming Fourth Session of the SAARC Talk Series 2024 on 30th April 2024 (Tuesday) at 2:00 pm (Sri Lanka Standard Time). The lecture will be delivered by Dr. Aly Shameem, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts, Maldives National University.

Dr. Aly Shameem will deliver his lecture on the topic “Maldives Cultural Music and Dances: Local and Regional Blend of Rich Performing Arts Traditions”.

The presentation is open to public. To attend kindly register at the link given below.

Please click here to register
Meeting link:

Do spread the word. We look forward to your participation and engaging discussions during this enlightening lecture.

SAARC Puppetry Day – Sri Lanka


The SAARC Puppetry Day was introduced this year to highlight fast disappearing traditional entertainment of puppetry.  The pandemic had rather adverse effect on this traditional entertainment due to travel restrictions and many of the traditional puppetry craftspeople had to leave their trade and look for new avenues of economic support thereby having a detrimental effect on the already disappearing craft.  The puppetry tradition in Sri Lanka uses handmade puppets using traditional techniques and methods passed down from generation to generation.  This is an attempt by the SAARC Cultural Centre to ensure the intangible heritage of the puppetry traditions of Sri Lanka, both the art of making them and the tradition of using folk stories, Buddhist stories and others to entertain their audiences are brought alive and enjoyed by the SAARC Region. 

Puppetry Day Programme

The Puppetry Day will consist of 2 shows:

  • The main event will be the evening show at 7:00 pm under darkness for a larger international and public audience. 
  • There will be a special school show organized at 3:00 pm for local school audiences on the same day.  

The Puppeteers use puppets to share folk tales and traditional historical stories of Sri Lanka, etc., passing on the intangible cultural heritage of puppet making, folk lore, historical stories, etc., to the next generation.  Some of the stories and events used for the Puppet show are as follows: 

  • The Story of Saliya & Asokamala (This is a Sri Lankan story about the heir to the throne falling in love with a girl from the gypsy clan and leaving his royal family to be with his beloved.  There are many traditional verses and songs about this Sri Lankan love story.)
  • Vidura Jataka Story – (A story which reveals the wisdom of Bodhisattva.) 
  • Sirisangabo Story (This is the story of a Sri Lankan King Sirisangabo who gave away his throne to his brother and became a hermit and sacrificed himself to give his head to a poor traveller to get his reward.)
  • Pooja Dance (The dance of blessings which is commonly used in rituals in Sri Lanka.)
  • Bahubootha Kolama (Comic relief with Jesters)
  • Pandam Paliya (Fire Dance)
  • Cart Accident

This is a FREE Public Event and all are welcome. 

Rabindra Jayanti celebration

To commemorate the 162nd Birth Anniversary of Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore, SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC) in collaboration with Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo organised an event in which Prof. Upul Ranjith Hewawitanagamage, Senior Professor, Dept of Hindi Studies, University of Kelaniya delivered a lecture on the Translation of Gitanjali from Bengali to Sinhalese. Prof. Ankuran Dutta, Director, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre graced the occasion along with the staff of SVCC. Mr. Ashish Athapaththu along with his students from SVCC sang Rabindra Sangeet.


International Women’s Day 2017

The SAARC Cultural Centre will be celebrating International Women’s Day with an evening of cultural performance by Thuuryaa, a young all female drumming ensemble from the University of Visual and Performing Arts and honouring several iconic Sri Lankan female Artistes on 08th March 2017 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 07 at 7.00p.m.

Sri Lanka’s first and only female Executive President, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and iconic and beloved Sri Lankan artists Iranganie Serasinghe, Vajira Chitrasena, Sumithra Peiris, Nanda Malini and Mary Anne David will be honoured at this celebration. These distinguished pioneers, have paved the way for future generations of women with their persistence, versatility, hard work, courage, integrity and continue to share their knowledge with grace.  They have widened the landscape of possibilities and given young girls the hope and power to dream without boundaries. It is our privilege to honour them.

The art of percussion has traditionally belonged to the domain of men. Thuuryaa brings a feminine touch and a definitive beat without boundaries, changing the face of drumming.  Embracing rhythm, creating & mixing art, their quest began within the walls of the University of the Visual and Performance Arts in Colombo, with nine talented under-graduate souls, created by Sithara, the first female percussion graduate of the University.  Embracing the essences of Kandyan, Low country & Sabaragamuwa – the tri-tradition of the Sri Lankan percussion art, they mix international percussion music to their presentation. The inspirational and innovative efforts of Thuuryaa, creates an entertaining and unique cultural performance.

This is an evening of honour, entertainment and celebration not to be missed.

Admission by Invitation Only.
Please contact Mahinda (0771053008), Yenuka (0112584451 ext 114) or Shanthini (0112584451) at the SAARC Cultural Centre for an invitation.
The programme will end at 9pm.


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