The different religious and cultural festivals bring people from different communities together
In a meaningful initiative to bring the people of Sri Lanka together and understand each other’s diversity and different cultures, the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) has taken steps to introduce a programme to celebrate religious and cultural festivals such as Thai Pongal, Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Poson, Ramazan, Christmas, together among school children island-wide. To underline the values of this initiative, the ONUR has printed a Handbook in all three languages to be distributed to schools on celebrating religious and cultural festivals to foster togetherness.
It is expected that celebrating these religious and cultural festivals together would help the children of different religions to celebrate and share the customs of others and appreciate their significance. They will understand that it does not impact negatively on one’s own identity in any way – which is one of the key objectives of reconciliation.
The arts and culture initiative undertaken by ONUR to target the education sector in inter-religious and cultural festival celebrations in schools will enhance awareness of different religions, traditions, customs and values, helping to create a deeper understanding of the similarities at the core of diverse faiths and cultures in the country, opening the door to reconciliation.