Event, Lifestyle

Coming up Glory – Avurudu Muse

April is around the corner and along with it comes Avurudu; the biggest cultural event for the Sinhalese and Tamils in a calendar year. With the merry chirping of the Koha, sweets and spices like nowhere else, games and events that light up entire villages, crackling sound of firecrackers, it is a time where bonds are created for lifetime, a time where relationships are rekindled; and a time where we celebrate everything that is good in life. This Avurudu season, AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura will be organizing an Avurudu Festival mainly to provide a cross cultural experience to the Exchange Participants from Incoming Global Volunteer.

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Sinhala and Hindu Aluth Avurudda (Sinhala and Tamil New Year) marks the dawn of a new year in the Sinhala and Tamil Calendar, similar to the celebration of the new year on January 1st in the Gregorian Calendar. It is also known as the Sun festival and it signifies the movement of the Sun from Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces ) to Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries). It follows a number of traditions in line with auspicious times such as the time to visit holy places (nonagathaya), dawn of the new year (aluth avurudu udawa), time to prepare food (ahara piseema), time to commence work (wada alleema), time to eat food (ahara anubhavaya). These traditions are placed in high regard by the locals and are carried out at the exact time in the exact manner, often accompanied by the deafening sound of firecrackers. People prepare for the Avurudu season by cleaning and decorating their homes, buying new clothes, preparing Avurudu Food and getting ready to visit relatives and family friends. Avurudu food is one of the most unique delicacies in the world. Every house will be filled with Milk rice, Kavum ( a sweet food with a bun), Kokis (a spicy star shaped food), bananas and many more dishes followed by the world’s best cup of tea. The season is all about family-focused celebrations.

 

During this season people who work in cities return to their hometown or village and celebrate the new year with their extended family. Fun games and activities also play an important part in new year celebrations. The Avurudu vibe lasts normally for around a 2 week span and generally comes to an end when all the relatives have been visited and when the month of April comes to an end.

The Avurudu festival is the best season to experience Sri Lanka’s core traditions and rituals and to enjoy fun activities and traditional games at the same time that you cannot experience anywhere else. To celebrate Avurudu this year, AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura is organizing an Avurudu Festival. The main objective of this festival is to provide a cross-cultural experience to the Exchange Participants who are here as a part of Incoming Global Volunteer. We hope to enrich them with experiences regarding the unique identity of Avurudu, the significance and importance behind every Avurudu tradition, the joy and effort behind every Avurudu game and to provide them with wonderful memories that last a lifetime. The event will be held with a large number of participants and will include a number of Avurudu games, traditional Avurudu costumes combined with Avurudu food and dances and songs.

This is a novel event initiated by AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura and has benefits to many parties. The Exchange Participants are mainly here to be part of pre-determined projects under Incoming Global Volunteer. Through this event they will be able to experience life in Sri Lanka on a first hand basis and be a part of the biggest cultural season we have to offer. It will help strengthen the bonds between a number of countries. It will also promote mutual understanding of diverse cultures around the world and the beauty of such diversity and help us understand what we can accomplish when we come together. 

For AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura this provides us an opportunity to bond with our participants, to show them the distinctive cultural identity of Sri Lanka, to explain to them the values and stories that created the Avurudu tradition and to fill them up with the indigenous delicacies from our Motherland. There is no doubt that the exchange participants will enjoy this event immensely, collect memories that will put a smile on their face whenever they hear the word “Sri Lanka” and when they go back; spread the stories of Avurudu far and wide.

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Signing off and wishing you a Subhama subha upcoming Avurudu Season!!!

by Indeepa Maddumage
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Lifestyle, Membership

Own your story – Experience of an AIESECer

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Unraveling My Journey to the Light

We all have milestones throughout our life. Stepping into a university is a major turning point in everyone’s life. University is a place where you find who you are and recognize your strengths, weaknesses; get ready to face the competitive world while building yourself.

While I was getting ready to have the most exciting experience; our lives changed unexpectedly.  Due to Covid- 19 pandemic, our university life started on a virtual platform.So, we’ve never got a chance to attend the university physically and get the wonderful experience that we all dreamed of. As a university student, I had to get used to online lectures sitting all day in front of a laptop which was a huge change to me and all my batchmates.

But, gladly I decided to join AIESEC in USJ in September 2021; without any clue that it will be the path to find myself.

Beginning the journey

Getting selected to AIESEC is not as simple as it seems. The first task given to us was sending an introduction video of ourselves. That task was a very unusual one as I never had to introduce myself through a video but it helped me to uplevel my confidence. Then we were divided into subgroups, we had an assessment center that included some fun games and it gave me a chance to work with new people as a team. Selection interviews were really fun and exciting. 

During the process, my curiosity about AIESEC was growing day by day. There were many questions that popped into my head; What is AIESEC? What is happening here? Etc.

When I got to know that I was selected for AIESEC. I was really happy and was eagerly waiting to learn everything about AIESEC. I still remember the day of our induction even though it was held virtually; it was a day to remember

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Becoming a member of AIESEC

After the induction we got divided into separate functions; Luckily I became a member of ICX – Matching and IR function. And I started my journey as an IR Coordinator. Even though I didn’t know any of the processes of the function in the beginning; our team leaders and managers guided us to improve our communication skills by giving proper training. As an IR Coordinator; my major role was building up partnerships with local committees in other countries. Building up an IR partnership with a Foreign Local Committee was not an easy task. But with  the proper guidance, we were able to communicate with the Vice presidents and managers of foreign Local Committees. As an IR coordinator, I had gained a lot of skills and knowledge. While taking part in IR calls I was able to improve my presentation and Communication skills , Getting to know about other foriegn cultures, and learning to work as a team which was really exciting. 

And while working as an IR Coordinator, I got the opportunity to join the PM crew,which was another turning point of my AIESEC journey. Being part of the PM team helped me a lot to get out of my comfort zone and let myself give my fullest contribution to helping fellow AIESECers to grow and improve their skills as well. 

Those two roles unleashed my potentia on balancing my work while engaging in studies and helped me to discover new skills which were hidden underneath me for a long time and I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me in the startup of my AIESEC journey. 

Experience of being part of an OC

In AIESEC, it was not always functional work. I was able to join many initiatives that empowered the youth generation while building connections with many parties.

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Being part of an Organizing Committee of those initiatives is the most amazing experience that you can get in AIESEC. I was able to become an organizing committee vice president in two organizing committees within a very short time period.

 I got my first OC experience from Link up Level up 3.0 which was a short term virtual event held with the purpose of building up partnerships with corporate organizations in Sri Lanka. Even though it’s a short term experience, I was able to enhance my skill of working as a team. And most importantly being part of an OC helped me realize & work with different personalities. 

And then I was lucky enough to be part of SL Gateway that was a new initiative to showcase travelling in Sri lanka. As the co-ocvp in public relations I was able to connect with experineced travel Vloggers and past volunteers who joined with volunteer projects. This experience gave me a whole another level experience of building up connections, working as a team and also more knowledge about AIESEC operations.

I strongly believe that being an AIESECer is not only engaging with functional tasks; Being part of an Oragnizing committee brings the real potential out of you and also gives you the most memorable experience of being an AIESECer.

Future upon

As an AIESECer, I’m looking forward to give my fullest  contribution towards my function as well as hoping to join with upcoming initiatives to gain more experience while making life time memories. As a current team leader my main objective is to guide my fellow AIESECers to gain skills and collect more experiences during their AIESEC journey.

I’m glad to say that the decision to join AIESEC was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I was lucky enough to meet many amazing individuals throughout my journey so far in AIESEC.

So what are you waiting for? Take your step to join AIESEC and Find who you really are while gaining life-time experiences.

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by Navodi Gaspe 
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ
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Event, Programs

YouCon 3.0 – Awaken the Youtuber in you

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YouCon 3.0 – The Biggest International YouTubing and Content Creation Conference in Sri Lanka came to a successful conclusion!

YouCon 3.0 was an international YouTubing and Content creation conference which was organized by AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura for the third successive time. It was launched in December 2021 with international coverage and with the participation of pioneers in the YouTubing industry worldwide.

AIESEC, which is the world’s largest youth-led organization, engages in giving opportunities to the youth by facilitating them in cross-cultural internships and volunteering exchanges with the prime objective of developing young leaders. Being one of the most outstanding Local Committees in Sri Lanka, AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura was able to triumphantly pull off YouCon 3.0 by setting a new benchmark for all other upcoming initiatives.

This International Conference was organized with the aim of creating a knowledge-sharing platform for aspiring local and international YouTubers who wish to discover new arenas in YouTubing and gain new perspectives to create desirable and quality content on YouTube.While mutually aligning with SDG 08; Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, the conference was held for four consecutive days from 2nd to 5th of December with the participation of many enthusiastic individuals from across the globe.

YouCon delivered 10 insightful sessions that covered all the ins and outs of content creation for those who dream of climbing up the ladder in YouTubing to become successful content creators in the future. The topics discussed in the conference included How to kickstart a YouTube channel for travel vlogging, Legal and monetization aspects of YouTubing, and Personal branding through YouTube as well.

In contrast to YouCon 2.0 which was a fully virtual conference, this year’s YouCon 3.0 managed to move out from the fully virtual domain of conferences to be a hybrid conference that was live-streamed via Facebook and YouTube while giving the amazing opportunity for the delegates to physically attend the sessions on the 5th of December which took place at Trace Expert City Colombo in a grand scale. The conference was graced with the presence of famous YouTube personalities including Maniya, Kaali, Kumalinda, Dinuka Wijesinghe, Ananda Priyadarshana from PCguide.lk, Soome, Manuranga and many more. 

The concluding session of YouCon 3.0 was fired up with incredible musical performances from young artists Midori Karunarathne, Siyum Sandeep, Dineth Wijesooriya, Shemil Clinson, Hesara Bandara, and Chalana Perera.  

Adding to that list of notable personalities, the local speakers who appeared throughout the first three days of the conference included Janeeth Rodrigo, Kamaj Silva, Sajeewa Dissanayake, Tharindu Vishwanath, Pasindu Jayasinghe from SL Geek, and international YouTubers, Rohan Chaubey and Priyanka Tiwari from India, TechSathi from Nepal, Dave Farina from The United States and many more.

 

The artists who lightened up the YouCon Studio virtual music fest included, Janith Iddamalgoda, Harshadewa Ariyasinghe, and multiple other crowd favorites.

YouCon 3.0 also managed to leap forward from the previous chapters of the YouCon history book and set records with 35+ AIESEC International Partnerships and delegates from more than 45 countries covering all 5 continents. Also, the conference was broadcasted on exceeding 70 local and international Facebook pages with the biggest delegate registrations for the 2021 AIESEC calendar year.

The event would not have turned out to be on a grand scale if not for the benevolent partners of YouCon 3.0, ‘Singer Sri Lanka’ as the Strategic Partner, ‘Closeup’ as the Diamond Partner, ‘Bizmo’ and ‘Tuti’ as the Gold Partner, ‘Nanaska’ and ‘CIMA’ Sri Lanka as Silver Partners, ‘Click to Mart’ as the Youth Partner, ‘Imperial College’ and ‘Eduko Pathways’ as Deluxe Partners followed by the generous In-Kind, health care, banner, food, and gift partners. Furthermore, ShoutOUT labs provided their collaboration throughout the conference as the SMS Gateway Partner and the event was live-streamed with the support of Eclipse Motion as the Livestreaming Partner of YouCon 3.0. 

YouCon is an initiative that has the power to make a huge impact on the Youth and that influence was clearly visible through the feedback from the delegates and by how enthusiastic they were to actively participate in the conference. The number of delegates of the event was remarkable as it represented one of the great success stories that AIESEC in Sri Lanka has ever achieved in terms of the reach for a worldwide audience.  

 

Looking at the massive impact it has created, it is crystal clear that YouCon 3.0 has set an international benchmark which can only be shaken by its next successive phase, YouCon 4.0! Without a doubt, the next chapters of YouCon will also continue to inspire and uplift youth to be aspiring content creators one day. AIESEC in USJ was able to set a benchmark for all events in AIESEC Sri Lanka by executing The Dream YouCon that we all have been waiting for by proving the statement, “if you can dream it, you can achieve it”. 

 Await the next chapters of YouCon to awaken the YouTuber in you!

By Dulni Wedage

Organising Committee Vice Presdient – Delegates

YouCon 3.0 – AIESEC in USJ

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Event, Programs

Creative Circuit 2.0 – Where passion meets creativity

Creative Circuit 2.0 was a brand-new initiative by AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, which was a re-iteration of the Creative Circuit, which happened in April 2021, only this time, the target was not just the members of AIESEC in USJ but the whole community of designers, artists, and enthusiasts who are passionate about the Creative Industry in Sri Lanka.

Creative Circuit 2.0 was a four-day event organized to pave the way for the betterment of the Creative Industry in Sri Lanka, driven by the vision of fostering new talent and innovative thinking in young individuals to bring about a positive change in the creative industry. Youth were given an opportunity to witness the collective effort and dedication of key personnel behind impactful projects and to learn from their experience. The event covered many facets of the creative industry, including the film industry, music industry, game development, graphic designing, video production, and many more.  

The highly anticipated event unfolded on the 29th of October at the Technology Faculty, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, marking the first physical event of the Local Committee for the term 21/22. The first session was an introductory session by the Organizing Committee of Creative Circuit 2.0. This was followed by a session conducted by Ms. Minoli Jayasinghe on the behind-the-scenes process of the reality TV program ‘The Voice Sri Lanka.’ She covered the in’s and out’s of the entire process behind one of the biggest franchise TV programs in the world. Mr.Pasan Liyanage then joined virtually to share his knowledge and insights on music production. He did not forget to share his experiences of working in the industry as well. Ms. Chanithi Gunasekara of KL.LK delivered her session on the theme ‘Storytelling in Advertising’, where she covered different aspects of storytelling and their significance.

The most awaited session of the physical day, ‘The Pinnacle of Sri Lankan Film Industry,’ a panel discussion with the minds behind one of the most budgeted movies of Sri Lankan, Aloko Udapadi, was held next. The Director Mr. Chathra Weeramen, the co-Director Mr. Bharatha Hettiarachchi, the Colourist Mr. Dinidu Jagoda, the Costume Designer Mr. Kumara Karawdeniya, and the Art Director Mr. Sunil Wijeratne were in attendance while Mr. Mishel Shiromal hosted the discussion. The film crew shared their experiences in making Aloko Udapadi and shared their knowledge with the audience. 

The fourth and final session of the inaugural day was a virtual session on the Game Development Industry of Sri Lanka, which Dr. Kasuna Karunasena hosted while the developers of the first multiplayer game of Sri Lanka, RAM Studios, joined in for the first part of the session. The second part of the session was joined by Mr. Akira Wijekoon, who shared his insights on commercializing video games.

The second day of the event commenced with a discussion with Internationa Special Effects Makeup Artist, Ms. Morgan Muta, where she shared her insights and experiences on the art of special effects make-up. This session was hosted by Mr. Akash Sunethkumar of Junkyard. This indeed was an interesting session for the viewers as Ms. Morgan was a special effects technician of famous titles such as X-Men Origins and many other Hollywood films. Mr. Etienne Beschet joined next for an informative session on the new trends in the Creative Industry, where he shared some of his personal work with the viewers.

The famous cinematographer Mr. Adam Suchitzky was the third speaker for the day, who joined and shared his experiences and insights on the process of Cinematography. Our very own Local Committee Vice President of Incoming Global Talent, Ms. Theshani Weligamage, hosted the session.

The final session for the second day was again hosted by Mr. Akash Sunethkumar on the theme of Intricacy of Costume Designing. Emmy-award-winning Costume Designer Ms. Ellen Mirojnick was the sole speaker for this session, where she shared her experiences in the industry, including her work in the famous Hollywood production, ‘The Greatest Showman.’

Mr. Phil Tan, a 3-time grammy-award winning Music and Audio Engineer joined the Creative Circuit on its’ third day to share his insights on the International Music Industry. This session caught the eye of many viewers as Phil was the mixing and audio engineer for many titles of famous artists including Rihanna, Anne Marie, Mariah Carey, and Coldplay. Ms. Theshani Weligamage hosted this session as well. 

This session was followed by a discussion with Mr. Jon Sorenntino, who is a Designer and an Art Director, who shared his insights on the new trends of UI/UX Design. The session was hosted by the Organizing Committee President of Creative Circuit, Mr. Upeka Fernando.

The final session for the third day was called ‘Reimagining Beauty’, which was hosted by Organizing Committee Vice President for Public Relations, Ms. Dehami Pathirana. An Award-winning make-up artist, who worked in famous movies like The Hunger Games, Immortals, and Pirates of the Caribbean, Ms. Nikoletta Skarlatos, joined and shared her knowledge and insights.

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The fourth and final day of Creative Circuit comprised of three hands-on sessions on different creative tools. Mr. Pasindu Kaushalya covered some fundamentals of Video Editing with Da Vinci Resolve while Mr. Isuru Hathurusinghe shared his knowledge on illustrating using Adobe Photoshop. Mr. Chase D joined next to share his insights and knowledge on Video Game live streaming. The event finale was a panel discussion with much esteemed personnel of the Creative Industry in Sri Lanka. Mr. Randy Chriz and Ms. Portia Ratnayake, the co-Founders of Meraki United, joined the session along with Mr. Yasith Abeynayake, Director of Design Operations in Cambio Group, Dr. Amri Adheeb, Managing Director of Sound Vision Entertainment, Mr. Yasith Sirisena, CEO of Prodigi Interactive and Mr. Santosh Menon, Chairman of KL.LK. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Theshani Weligamage. The panel shared their ideas on how the Creative Industry is at present and how Sri Lanka can reach the world stage in terms of the Creative Industry.

Creative Circuit 2.0 was successful largely due to the support of many individuals, including the Event Partners who gracefully and generously supported the event from day one itself. ‘KL.LK’ as the Title Partner, ‘Upfield Sri Lanka’ and ‘Kalana Engineering, Deluxe partners, ‘Flomo Notio’ and ‘Whiskey Tribe’ as Banner partners, and all other partners were instrumental in the success of the event. The hard work of the Organizing Committee and the support of the Event Managers and the Executive Board of AIESEC in USJ were all a part of the event’s success.

By Upeka Fernando

Organizing Committe President

Creative Circuit 2.0 – AIESEC in USJ

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Event

JXLDS 10.0 – Leaders beyond limits

AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura conducts flagship leadership development seminar for 10th consecutive time.

AIESEC in University of Jayewardenepura successfully conducted JXLDS 10.0, the tenth iteration of its annual leadership development seminar, at Laya Leisure, Kukuleganga, on January 22 and 23.

The two-day conference, which is targeted for the entity’s membership and has helped bring forth leaders from within its ranks for a decade now, comprised various sessions conducted by the Executive Board of the entity and select external facilitators.

The event saw the delegates experience team-building activities, outbound training, informative sessions, and engage in several leadership-centric spaces over the two-day event schedule. Among the highlights of the event was the theme party conducted under the theme of the fictional land of Wakanda that allowed the membership a chance to express themselves through costumes, games, and an evening on the dance floor.

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Notably, the conference was conducted in a group-wise bubble system from start to finish with strict adherence to safety guidelines in the backdrop of Covid cases once again rearing its head in the country. The delegates engaged in each session in their respective bubbles of six to seven members. Their overnight accommodation was also arranged in such a way that each delegate was allocated a room of their own for the night.

Several partners came on board to bring JXLDS 10.0 to fruition, including our Strategic Partner KL.LK, Platinum Partner Fresh Milk Dairies, Gold Partner Haycarb PLC, Education Partner Premier Partners Institute of Management, Youth Partner Singhagiri, Wellness Partner Singha Holdings, Deluxe Partners Darley Butler & Co. and ORO International, PR Partner Mark and Comm, Merchandise Partner Brandix and, along with several other banner and gift partners. 

Local Committee President of AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Vikum Wijekoon, said that the seminar has helped the youth of the entity identify their true capabilities for many years now and that it will continue to do so for years to come.

“JXLDS is a place for someone to see that they are so much more capable than they believe they are. We are proud and delighted to see JXLDS held for its 10th year in grand style and hope to see the conference continue to bring forth young leaders in the future,” he said.

The overwhelmingly positive feedback for the event from both the membership of AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, as well as the external partners involved bears testament to the success of the event, which was conducted on an even grander scale than previous years in light of it being the 10th anniversary of JXLDS and its significance in shaping youth leaders.

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by Amindha de Alwis

 Organising Committee Vice-President – Finance, JXLDS 10.0

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