South Fest was the largest cultural event organized by AIESEC in University of Ruhuna. The main theme of South Fest was the “New Year festival” in the month of April. South Fest was mainly organized to provide a unique cross-cultural experience to the Exchange Participants who are not aware of Sri Lankan heritage and culture. It was the type of a Global village where the cultures of different countries were shared in one place to strive towards promoting peace and harmony by bridging the gaps and differences between countries. 

At the beginning of the day of our event, Exchange Participants were welcomed with a traditional dance with the intention of showing them our culture. The “Boiling Milk” ritual, a symbol of fertility was held in the first place and New Year festival activities followed.

Avurudu food is one of the most unique delicacies in the world. A colorful glamorous table full of Avurudu food was there, especially for Exchange participants: giving them a chance to enjoy our food. It was a great opportunity to showcase to the world the taste of Sri Lankan food. Also, Exchange participants were able to make ‘Kokis’, one of our famous New Year dishes, on their own. We were able to add some taste to their experience.

There are lots of fun folk games we do during the New Year season such as ‘Kana mutti, ‘Aliyata esa thabeema’, ‘Goni race’ etc. Our Exchange participants were able to enjoy a lot by doing those fun Avurudu games with us. We could give them unforgettable memories through the South Fest event. 

South Fest was a great opportunity to not only show the distinctive cultural identity of Sri Lanka to our Exchange participants but also to show us their cultural aspects too.

As an example we were able to play a small German game. This is a team sport played by two people. A blindfolded person is given a stick and kneel on the floor. Then a gift should be hidden in a turned-over pot. Once the game starts, the person with the blindfold should find the saucepan with the help of a stick. The other partner helps to find that saucepan by guiding him “cool” or “hot”. “Cool” means he is close to the pot and “Hot” means he’s far from the pot. The team who finds the saucepan first, wins the game and gets the gift.

We also did some creative games such as “Newspaper dress”. The main purpose of this game was to give our Exchange participants a good exposure to Sri Lankan traditional dresses. It was a team game and teams were provided with some newspapers and asked to choose a model from the group members and make a traditional dress using those newspapers within a limited period of time. Before starting the game we showed them a picture of “Osariya” which is a traditional dress of Sri Lanka. This game was one of the trending games in the event.

AIESEC in University of Ruhuna organized this event to provide  a memorable experience to Exchange participants who came to Sri Lanka for Incoming Global Volunteering projects. We were able to create an indelible image of our country and culture in their hearts through South Fest. It was one of the most remarkable cultural events so far.

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