New Year pil­low fight

Clutha Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - JOANNA GRIF­FITHS

It might seem odd to some, but cel­e­brat­ing the New Year with a pil­low fight in April is com­mon place in the deep south.

About 160 peo­ple from through­out South­land cel­e­brated the Sin­hala and Hindu New Year at the In­ver­cargill Blind Foun­da­tion Hall on Sun­day.

The cel­e­bra­tions were run by the com­mu­nity group We Sri Lankans.

Group mem­ber Esther Smith said peo­ple trav­elled from as far as Bal­clutha, Moss­burn and Bluff to par­tic­i­pate in fes­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘It’s part of our cul­ture. It’s very spe­cial,’’ Smith said.

The event was tra­di­tion­ally run on April 13 and 14, but be­cause of time re­straints and venue avail­abil­ity, they had to post­pone the event to last Sun­day.

About 12 dif­fer­ent games were held on the day, she said.

The favourite events were the Ba­nis Kema, an event were par­tic­i­pants try to eat a bun on a string with­out using their hands, and the Kotta Pora, an event were two peo­ple have a pil­low fight while try­ing to bal­ance on a log.

‘‘It is pretty funny to watch.’’ Fes­tiv­i­ties started at 1pm and ran into the night, fin­ish­ing up at 9pm, she said.

The next event to be hosted by the com­mu­nity group will be for Bud­dha Day cel­e­bra­tions in May.

KAVINDA HERATH

Gi­han Wani­garathna and Gayan Mendis at the Sin­hala and Hindu New Year cel­e­bra­tions at the Blind Foun­da­tion hall in In­ver­cargill.

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