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Rajaman’s guide to Australia


This is a guide book that talks about everyday life in Australia.

The book gives practical information about the basics aspects of Australian society.

The book is written for Sri Lankans who want to understand about life in Australia before they go and gives an idea about how it is to really live in Australia. For example it explains how to find lodging, how much it’s going to cost for a room? For a house? How to buy a house? Rates?

It explains about the transport system –prices of tickets, about weekly-deals that will save money. Then discounted markets — the price of food items, how much is a loaf of bread. Clothes — how to do winter-shopping cheap. The prices. About how to find jobs — part time jobs and professional jobs, nature of job industry in Australia.

The reason for this booklet? The university magazines and other booklets in the industry give only a vague idea to students and don’t give practical information about how to live there and how much it’s going to cost them. This book will make the students and migrants properly informed before they go to Australia (plus they can do a budget). Why Rajaman’s Guide To Australia? It’s like a Mr. Bean-like character who explains everything with humour. 

Review by Carl Muller

“Beautifully enough, this guide also carries a poem by G. K. Samarakoon that you simply must read. This is a guide book extraordinary, and it brings Australia to you in so many ways no other book does. But this handy guide is not only one of the most lively and whacky I have come across, but it is so down to earth that one wonders how well the writer has assembled both wit and wisdom in bringing within covers a full pouch, brimming with information that serves up, for migrants and visitors, a full platter.

Review by Northern Star – Australia

Rajaman’s Guide To Australia is a practical information book released by Migrant Education Centre, Victoria. What it is, is an ‘Idiot’s Guide to Australia’ written by G.K. Samarakoon an Australian writer, teacher and traveller. The book is written by the perspective of a migrant, hence it explains things in simple language with a bit of humour. The book covers everything from maps, how to find lodging, food, transport, part-time jobs, immigration and visas etc.

There were a few things which I learned from the book as well. And things like the weekly tickets are taken for granted by Australians in the country but these things could be a novelty to new migrants. So in that sense this book is a must-have for anyone coming in to the country to study or live. – Susan Bingley, Migrant Counsellor.

Works of Schumann, Strauss and Mendelssohn at SOSL Premieres Concert

Atsushi Kimura and KeikoKobayashi

The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka premieres three works — R. Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony, R. Strauss’ Fanfare For The City Of Vienna for Brass and Timpani and Mendelssohn’s Overture To Ruy Blas, at its annual Premieres Concert, on Friday, October 9, at Ladies College Hall at 7.30 p.m.

This year’s Premieres concert will have another unusual touch in that three of the four works performed are in E flat major, and the fourth, the Mendelssohn Overture, is in the relative key of C minor.

Celebrated lady conductor Keiko Kobayashi will take the baton for the second time with SOSL.   Tokyo-born Keiko Kobayashi, needs no introduction to Colombo audiences, who heard her compelling conducting of Beethoven 5th Symphony and Mozart’s Flute & Harp Concerto at last year’s Premieres concert. A pupil of Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Kenichiro Kobayashi, Yuji Yuasa, Douglas Bostock and the legendary Seiji Ozawa, her most recent achievement was the First Prize at the Boswil International Conducting Master Class in Switzerland. She conducted the Aargau Symphony Orchestra earlier this year.

Since her debut, she has conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO), the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra (TKWO) and the Siena Wind Orchestra and in 2006, she was répétiteur and assistant conductor at the Hallwyl Opera Festival in Switzerland. She had her European debut with Bizet’s The Fair Maid Of Perth at this festival, to which she returned in 2009 to conduct Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. She is a conductor at the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, and the Soai Orchestra in Japan.

The pick of the works to be performed is perhaps Schumann’s finest orchestral work, the Rhenish Symphony In E flat, for which the nobility and spirit of the Rhine river and its people had been his inspiration. The piece is a truly monumental romantic five-movement symphony, which will receive its first performance in Sri Lanka. The fourth movement is a luxuriously orchestrated contrapuntal masterpiece, a challenge for any conductor. R. Strauss’ Rousing Fanfare was written for the Trompeterchor (Brass Band) of the City of Vienna in 1943. Its two minutes features some brass playing of great brilliance.

Renowned Japanese horn player Atsushi Kimura is guest soloist for Mozart’s Third Horn Concerto, also to be premiered at the concert. Born in 1958 in Kanazawa, Japan, Atushi Kimura began playing the horn at the age of 12. He studied at Toho Gakuen Music School, Tokyo, under Prof. Masahiro Tanaka and Prof. Katsuyoshi Kurosawa. He was a member of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 1986, and has been a member of Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra since 1986. From 1986 to 1996, he played in the Saito Kinen Orchestra. He is presently director of the Japan Horn Society.

Mozart’s Third Horn Concerto is perhaps the finest in this genre, and has great richness and is more symphonic than the other three. The Romance second movement allows the soloist to display his finest cantabile, and infectious high spirits dominate its hunting horn finale.

Mendelssohn’s  Ruy Blas Overture is mainly in C minor, and is a wonderfully tuneful overture for large orchestra consisting of pairs of flutes, clarinets, bassoons, and trumpets, four horns, three trombones (alto, tenor and bass), timpani and a full complement of strings. It was written for a Victor Hugo play of the same name, which the composer hated.

SOSL concerts are much looked forward events in the Colombo music lover’s calendar. Asian Alliance Insurance PLC is the main sponsor and the Japan Foundation is co-sponsor, Cinnamon Grand Hotel is the hospitality partner and electronic media sponsors are Sirasa TV, Sirasa FM, Channel 1 MTV and Yes FM.

A bold attempt by Dr. Piyasiri Vijayasekere

The launch of Piyasiri Vijayasekere’s translation of Marcel Pagnol’s ‘La fille du puisatier’ took place at the Alliance Francaise, Colombo on September 24 amid a gathering of friends, well-wishers and literary enthusiasts.

The book, titled, Lin, Mamage Donianda Hewath Lindo was received with much acclaim. Addresing the gathering at the launch, Vijayasekere, who has spent much time in France and is well spoken in both Sinhala and French explained that though this translation is not the first of this classic French story, he is certain that it brings home the story to Sinhala readers in a clear manner.

Dr. Piyasiri Vijayasekere’s translation Well-Digger’s Daughter is PAGNOL’s fourth work in Sinhala. He has also translated Nobel Prize laureate Albert Camus’s The Stranger (1992) (Best Translation, 1993, Independent Literary Festival), Elie-Georges Berreby’s Le Visiteur (theatre, 1903, unpublished), Pearl Fishers (opera) (Carré & Cormon, 2008) and Michael Ondaatje’s Running In The Family (2008). He holds a Masters degree (Panthéon Sorbonne) and a Doctorate (Université de Paris). According to Dr. Vijayasekere, direct French-Sinhala translations offer an additional advantage of engaging in a culturo-ideological decolonisation process vis-à-vis the dominant (colonial) mode of communication.

Kinnara ’09 

Kinnara ’09 was organised by the Hewisi Band of S. Thomas’ College on September 12 and brought together over 2000 people, young and old. This year’s performance was compered by Sahan Rathnayake and Dylan John – two young Thomians whose talents in this department were truly exceptional.

The Chief Guest, Sam Wijesinghe, and Ranjini Abeynaike opened the evening by lighting the oil lamp together with the Warden, Revd. John Puddyfoot, Sub Warden, Harshana Fernando, Chaplain, Rev. Rebecca, Master in Charge Dilanka Matthew, Malsiri Peiris representing the parents, Asst. Band Leaders Sandharu Ferdinando and Trehan Manathunge and Band Leader Mevan Peiris.

The show commenced with the Band of Museaus College.

Trinity College, Kandy – one of the most renowned Hewisi bands in the country came in with their exceptional drumming and fire antics adding colour and vibrancy to the show. Bishop’s College brought on a band comprising of over 40 performers on a range of percussion instruments on to the chapel steps amidst a loud cheer from the audience.

The youngsters from S. Thomas’ Guruthalawa put on an amazing show of fire-dancing which was very courageous and looked quite dangerous too for a troupe of young boys.

The dance troupe of the Asian International School brought in a difference to the line up as a small group of eight talented teenagers took to the floor. The fusion music and their well practiced performance kept the audience mesmerised.

The STC Old Boys came in with a lovely line up of popular Eastern and Fusion melodies. Their presence bore witness to the fact that Thomians are Thomians for life. Their love for their alma mater will bring them back offering her their talents, resources and love for the next generations of school boys.

The Grand Finale was the 30 minutes of music brought on by the Hewisi Band of STC Mount Lavinia. Thirty eight youngsters on flutes, davul bera, geta bera, thammatam, thalam-pata, cymbals, base drum, African jambur, thabla, bamboo, practiced for three months to bring on this show and they certainly did themselves proud. Kushlani Allis directed the choreography which certainly added to the beauty and quality of the show.

Band Leader Mevan Peiris did an outstanding job in training the boys and keeping them motivated over the long practice sessions and coordinating all aspects of the show – most of which were handled by the school boys themselves. The Assistant Band Leaders Sandaru Ferdinando, Trehan Manathunge and the team of seniors took the responsibility to make the event happen. Their vision and commitment to take the show to the next level is probably the recipe for success.

“This is my seventh Hewisi concert and I’ve learnt all I know from the seniors who in turn learnt from their seniors,” says Mevan. “Over the years I’ve been involved in almost all the sports offered in college, I did not excel in them all, but I certainly built a huge group of great friends throughout the school at all levels. To be available for each other and support each other in achieving our dreams is what friendship is about – and at S. Thomas’ we live that kind of friendship,” he stated.

The teamwork within the band and among the different groups of boys within the school was simply awesome. The scouts, the cadets, the house prefects, college prefects, the parents, the teachers, the minor staff and the old boys and many more all contributed in a big way. The bandsmen themselves took on a host of responsibilities. One handled the decorations and the entire design aspect of all print material, one coordinated the souvenir, one the ticket sales and so on. The master in charge Dilanka Matthew — also in his teens — was a great support to the boys.









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