(Scroll down to view video)
A combination of songs, rhythmic movements and striking sticks grabbed the attention of the audience at the WINGS Food Festival. (Scroll down to view video).
A dance troupe from Mannar had come all the way to Colombo to show us the authentic "Kolattam". The name is derived from 'Kol', which means a small stick and 'Attam', which means dance.
With its origin in India, the complex formations and the fast-paced beats are the highlights of this art of ‘celebration’.
The energetic art form was presented by a group of Muslims from Mannar. The group had been natives of the district, specifically from the Slavatura area. Although they had moved to Puttalam during the war, they returned in 2009 and have been traveling since then to different parts of the country like Ampara, Vavuniya and Kilinochchi, performing and promoting the dance.
The opening recital vividly describes the scenery in the Mannar district while praising the famous Alli Rani fort, now known as Arippu fort, which is situated a few Kilometers away from their land. The last few lines of the song insist on Christians, Muslims and Hindus living a united life and making Mother Musali proud.
“Musali” is the name of a Muslim community that was once the only Muslim majority in the entire Northern province. The 30-year war compelled them to leave their, but WINGS 2016 gave them a platform to remind the society of the unknown communities and their unique cultures.