The Jaffna Music Festival 2013 – pre-festival village performances.
The village level performances held in Mulliavali, Mullativue and Pasiyoor, Jaffna on the 9th and 10th March, 2013 were great examples of communities gathering together despite differences in age, gender and ethnicity to experience something uniquely local.
The revival and re-introduction of local folk forms at the two locations was witnessed by crowds of over 500 to 200-250 people respectively. Some came on bicycles, whilst others walked; even babies and toddlers were in attendance, wrapped securely in their parent’s arms. There was much laughter, chatter and collective excitement as the gathered crowds from all over Mulliavali and Pasiyoor and shared mats on which they sat with one another for a night of colour, lights, music and dance. The performance of Parai drumming stirred the crowd with its wild beats so much so that some broke with convention and danced energetically with the colourfully clad performers.
It was heartwarming to see communities that suffered so much gathered together sharing an altogether different kind of experience - one that depicted hope and recognition for a better future. Most of the northern communities have suffered displacement due to the 30 year war. Many folk groups within this region were forced to give up their folk forms and as a result have lost or damaged their instruments, costumes etc. beyond repair. These particular folk groups performing at the festival were equipped by the Jaffna Music Festival MF 2013 initiative.
Jane Conrad (Media coordinator)
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