Several Swedish and Sri Lankan partners came together last week to present Sri Lanka’s vibrant culture, cuisine, dance and destination at the ‘Sri Lanka Cultural Festival’ held in the Etnografiska Museum and Matamekka, Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen, Stockholm. The festival also portrayed the myriad facets of Sri Lanka’s arts, literature, heritage and history, creative industry, ayurveda and wellness, film and music etc. The event which concluded on 28th August 2022 witnessed a high visitor count of 1300. The event was also done in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.
The 5-day Cultural event was launched at the Etnografiska Museum on 24 August with Sri Lankan cuisine, exotic traditional Sri Lankan dances including poojanatuma, Surambavalliya and Nagaraksha and classical music amidst a distinguished audience and partners.
Master Chef Rohan Fernandopulle, Bocuse d’ Or President Sri Lanka, teamed up with Swedish Chef Carola Magnusson to present authentic Sri Lankan dishes showcasing the island’s rich culinary heritage. Live stations of hoppers and Kottu projected the islands unique dishes. Freshly brewed Dilmah Tea presented the finest selections of Ceylon Tea.
Sri Lanka’s muti-faceted, all-year-around destination featured throughout the festival. The tourism booth, video presentations, posters, banners and flyers depicting the diverse attractions that the island offers such as pristine beaches; lush forests; gushing waterfalls; wildlife and ancient cities, adventure and rich and diverse culture presented the diversity and richness of the island destination.
The Festival also included presentations at the Etnografiska Museum of a variety of unique items from Sri Lanka brought out for the festival by the Museum. Additionally, from private collections, professional creations – replica paintings of Sigiri Apsara, Mulkirigala (19thC Thelapththa Jatakaya), Dodanduwa (19thC, Vessanthara Jatakaya), Replica statues of Avaloketheeswara Bodhisattva (9th C, Veheragala) in brass, and the unique Ethpahana (Elephant lamp 12th Century Dedigama-Punkagama) in bronze, conceptual painted pottery using traditional temple imagery on earthen-ware pots, and other creations presenting the finest Sri Lankan sculptor tradition/ expertise were on display. Silver, brass, wooden handicraft and batik creations projected Sri Lanka’s creative industry. Amongst the commercially relevant displays were, Ayurveda and wellness products; authentic Sri Lankan spices.
Sri Lankan literature corner attracted many visitors. Sri Lanka novels such as Madol Duwa, translated to Swedish presented Sri Lanka literature tradition. Films produced by Swedish producer Stefan & Lavonne Quinth on various themes including Sri Lankan wildlife films were screened daily at the Etnografiska Museum Auditorium. The producers have been-closely associated with filming Sri Lanka for over 40 years.
Children were exposed to an additional flavour of Sri Lanka through painting of the islands wild life such as the walikukula (jungle fowl)- the national bird, the Asian elephant, leopard, whale, dolphin, peacock etc. The Sri Lankan dressing booth was a popular stop at the event, providing a delightful experience of dressing in traditional saree, osariya and sarong.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm together with Sri Lanka Tourism received excellent partnership of the Etnografiska Museum, Stockholm; Carola’s EKO of Swedish Chef Carola Magnusson; Master Chef Rohan Fernandopulle, President Bocuse d’ Or; Dilmah Tea- Sri Lanka and agent Tekompaniet, Stockholm; Swedish Film producers Stefan and Lavonne Quinth.
Additionally at a separate event in Stockholm, specially crafted Sri Lankan fine dining cuisine was presented by Master Chef Rohan Fernandopulle at Restaurant Stora Skuggans by Carola’s EKO – which has a strong sustainability branding. Master Chef Rohan also was engaged in the Chefs festival Terra Madre Nordic (1-3 Sept), which is a Nordic meeting place for both producers and consumers with a common interest in sustainable food production, consumption and food culture.
The event took place at a time when several countries including Sweden, Denmark, Norway and others have revised the travel advisories on Sri Lanka.