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However, Indian history and archaeology have pushed the date back to 15th century BCE. In Sri Lanka, there is radiometric evidence from Anuradhapura that the non- Brahmi symbol-bearing black and red ware occur in the 10th century BCE.
The name Ko Veta is engraved in Brahmi script on a seal buried with the skeleton and is assigned by the excavators to the 3rd century BCE.
They bore several inscriptions, including a clan name—vela, a name related to velir from ancient Tamil country. Mention is made in literary sources of Tamil rulers bringing horses to the island in water craft in the second century BCE, most likely arriving at Kudiramalai.
Historical records establish that Tamil kingdoms in modern India were closely involved in the island's affairs from about the 2nd century BCE. Hindu Saivism , Tamil Buddhism , Jainism and secularism were popular amongst the Tamils at this time, as was the proliferation of village deity worship. Ancient Vanniars settled in the east of the island in the first few centuries of the common era to cultivate and maintain the area.
Their rule also saw the benefaction of other faiths. Recent excavations have led to the discovery of a limestone Kovil of Raja Raja Chola I's era on Delft island, found with Chola coins from this period.
Sinhala, though derived from old Indian Prakrit dialects, is an independent language. The intimate relationship of language and culture strengthens the independence of Sinhalese culture. This language influenced Catholic literature to promulgate Catholic faith among the faithful.
They arrived in Colombo in, and worked as missionaries. The people for their great familiarity with the Sinhalese Language liked several Jesuits who became very proficient in Sinhalese, namely: Furthermore, Fr.
Emmanuel Costa and Fr. Pierre Bearguin learnt Sinhalese well and wrote books. In fact, this original manuscript is probably in the Library of Propaganda at Rome. Moreover, Fathers began schools especially College of Colombo in order to educate students and to promote the indigenous vocations in this land who were keen to become priests.
Folk Poetry of the Sinhalese The folk poetry is not grammatically written and not systematically arranged work: They never seek rich rhyme, and are satisfied with simple assonance. The verses, not made for the eye, are full of ungrammatical elisions; but it must be borne in mind that if grammar is, as they say-and I doubt it-the art of speech, it is certainly not the art of song.
Apart from that, the verse of the popular song strikes the ear brevity, which the most learned art seeks without acquiring; the imagery appears sharp and pure.
In short, it has the light flight and morning song of lark it so loves to glorify. Having this in mind, let us have a look at the poetry style of the Christian teaching. After having been well instructed he told that the fathers that he wished to receive his baptism.
The Kustantinu Hatana is a secular poem, the story of a military expedition and its ultimate triumph. But it enhances the theological base and possesses Trinity, Christ and the Blessed Virgin. For instance, we can see some of the translation of certain verses. Jacome Goncalvez When we speak of Sinhalese writing of catholic literature this person cannot be excluded, who made a thorough study of Sinhalese and compile religious books, with a view to providing Sinhalese Catholics with at least the necessary minimum of catholic literature in their own longue.
Some of his works are: Therefore, we agreed to say that Fr. Jacome Goncalvez provided Sinhalese Catholics with a religious literature in their own language in 18th century A.
The impacts of these cultural elements influence a lot in the Catholic of Sri Lanka. Therefore, let us now review how they lake place. Music in Sinhalese When we take Sinhalese music into our point of view, the Vatican Council II clearly explains about the input of sacred music into our religious activities. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, says in the following way about vernacular languages in the sacred music.
Its decrees have to be approved, that is, confirmed by the Apostolic See. The nature and law of each language people must be respected, and the features and special characteristics of each people must be taken into consideration: The competent territorial authority will therefore ensure that in the commission entrusted with the composition of versions for the people, there are experts in the subjects already mentioned as well as in Latin and vernacular; from the outset of the work, they must combine their efforts.
Down through the history, Music was prevailed among the ordinary people in colonial stage. They used certain kind of rhythm to express their feelings and work in fields. In this body of folk music would be included the equal simple tunes to which poetry is chanted. Goncalvez was a musician and had a good command of Western religious music.
However, he believed with Fr. Goncalvez also composed certain chanting in a flowing rhythmic prose. He wrote them to be chanted to melodies that were found in country itself.
This is because to identify church as something not an alien. Sinhalese Drama There was no drama in Sinhalese in the early centuries, but the Indians, who were using dances and songs in religious worship, brought this kind of art into Ceylon which was originally seen in Sanskrit. Then Buddhist monasticism took these elements into Sinhalese culture. Consequently, the new trend of art and drama came into screen play of Sinhalese culture. It was by the Christian Missionaries of Portuguese period that regular play- acting on the stage was introduced to Ceylon.
The Jesuits mainly for the educational necessity gave importance to the drama both in their colleges and in the mission outstations under their charge. The plays composed by friar Peyxoto were also based on stories from the Bible and the lives of the saints. The language they used was in Sinhalese or Tamil because in the mission outstations there were ordinary people in rural districts who did not know Portuguese.
Permanent stages were built opposite or alongside the churches.
The European Catholic missionaries of the Portuguese period and which was later extended into the secular field introduced the traditional of religions drama to Ceylon.
These Sinhalese drama, have been continuing among our Catholics too. Sinhalese Dance Natyam Kandyan monarchy period witnessed the blossoming of a distinct genre of Sinhalese dance, popularly known as Kandyan dancing. It is unable to say how far back this specific art goes. Write 2. Sinhalese Customs Customs is an ordinary or manner of doing and acting by a particular person or community.
It is always a habit. It has the background of culture, religions,believes and social environment.
Child Birth Among the Catholics, certain ceremonies of childbirth do not exist, because of the strong catholic teachings. When they found everything in a favourable stage they fix a lucky day and settle dowry for the marriage. The pingos kat contain various articles of food for the marriage feast. This is done as a sign of acceptance and welcome. The ceremony begins by paying an act of homage to Buddha.
The washer man dhobi gives two hands of betel leaves to the bridegroom, this the groom gives to the bride who hands it over to her mother by saying words of gratitude.
The ceremony of dressing the bride with the clothes brought by the bridegroom symbolizes his taking charge of her and implies a long life of prosperity with the gift of children.
If the coconut splits into equal halves, it is considered to be a good omen for a successful marriage. After meals, the new couple goes to the house of the bridegroom. Catholic marriages are celebrated in the church during the mass. But, in the history of the celebration of catholic marriages reveals that in the beginning it was a domestic rite which was gradually came to be celebrated in the church. It has always remained a domestic rite preformed in the home of the bride, or sometimes in a reception hall.
There is a possibility to celebrate marriage in the home, especially in case of a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian, where they are reluctant to come to church. The exchange of rings: Joining of hands: In both marriages rites the joining of hands is performed to express the unbreakableunion between two. The use of water: As we know, the use of holy water is observed in Sri Lankan catholic marriage rite.
The priest after the words of welcome starts the mass. After the liturgy of the word, the uncles of bride and the bridegroom lead the couple relatives by giving each of them a hand of betel leaves as a token of farewell. The rite of consent follows as recited according to the catholic marriage consent when the exchange of rings is taken place. When the marriage is celebrated at home, apart from the Eucharist the other rites take place as mentioned in the above. When we see the dress pattern, normally, women wear a white saree with edging of silver lace to match.
This is true in Catholic marriage too. Most of the Sinhalese prefer to wear their traditional dress on their wedding day. Sinhalese Funerals Among the Sinhalese, Tuesday and Friday were considered as inauspicious days for burial.
As soon as a person died, those who around the couch raise a clamour of grief. Then, the relatives are informed and black and white flags hung in front of the house. The dead body is washed by near relatives or others instead of near relatives. When they place the head of the corpse must be turned to the west. Pictures hung on the wall are reversed. The picture of the deceased is kept and in front, an oil lamp and glass of water are placed. After paying respect of all the relatives and friends the coffin is closed and taken to the cemetery.
Musicians, who play on muffled drums or tom-toms a sad, monotonous beat, while the pipes horana keep up a mournful drone, precede the funeral procession. The poor generally bury their dead ones, but those who can afford they criminate the body. The funeral pyre is made up of coconut shells, husks and firewood. The funeral pyre is kindled by close relatives of the deceased.
When the body is consumed, the relatives and others returned their homes, after having washed themselves; they remove any pollution or dirt killa which they may have contracted by touching the corpse. In front of the house, they keep turmeric mixed water Kahawathura in order to have cleanliness. This takes place three days, one month, and one year after buried. Not everyone observes this act of almsgiving, but those who can afford to do. As Sinhala Catholics in certain place, practice these whole customs.
The Westernized culture has influenced most of the cities, therefore, this funeral customs have been reduced unto funeral parlours. Certain people have forgotten their actual culture because of their busy schedule. Several Other Customs of Sinhalese In Sinhalese culture, there are certain other elements, which are observed by Sinhalese even today.
For many years in villages, there is a custom when a visitor comes home; they invite the person with a glass of water. In many houses beside their front door or in the portico they place a pot filled with water with white flowers to symbolize good luck and fortune.
Sinhalese normally start their festivals or functions making to beat festive drums and lighting the oil lamp. It is same in Tamil culture too.
This oil lamp is brass and well polished. On the top of the lamp, there is a figure of a rooster made of the same metal. These elements also can be found in the church feasts and functions, especially before they begin mass; there is a moment of lighting of the traditional oil lamp. It symbolizes the new beginning with graceful moment. In some places, people creatively design this oil lamp according to their choices.
Therefore, with the available resources we can analyze the aspects of Sinhalese culture. Therefore, these elements are not fully observed by every Sinhalese but in some way, on a smaller scale we can recognize these elements.
According to certain ceremonies like house warming, puberty ceremony, blessing of vehicle etc. This book is compiled in reference to Sri Lankan context. Accordingly, elements of Sinhalese culture have influenced the Catholicism of Sri Lanka with the respect of its fundamental belief. It is to mention that nearly two million people in Ceylon speak in Tamil language.
This language is as much a classical language as Greek, Latin or Sanskrit. Tamil continues to be one of the most vigorous of modern languages and yet remains young as it was two thousand years ago. According to the history, Fr. Lambert Ruiz who was a missionary of Chilaw made a very close study of Tamil language that he afterwards taught with great care and accuracy. It is said that he died praying in Tamil. Along with him, Fr.
Berndino Pecci, Fr. Ignatius Bruno, who gave their whole life to learn Tamil in their missionary to Mannar and Jaffna. It was clearly no easy task for the pioneer European missionaries to learn these languages so different from their own. However, their arden keen to serve the people of Sri Lanka made them to study of this vernaculars.
In fact, it was by them that such books were produced for the first time that greatly benefitted later missionaries and other European scholars. Henry Henriques, the Tamil scholar and probably the first European to master the language, composed several Tamil books namely: Tamil Grammar, Tamil Lexicon and so on. Likewise, there were certain movements of Tamil language, which is used in preaching, teaching and praying.
Goncalvez is one of the important figures in these movements. His other works are: It has two parts: An explanation of the gospels of Sundays and feast days and is yet very popular in Ceylon. A book tells about commandments of god and of the church, the devotion to blessed virgonmary and the souls in purgatory. Defense of Catholic doctrines which are generally attacked by protestants.
A comparison between true Catholic Church and the reformed churches After Fr. Gonsalvez, Fr. He is one of the prominent figures in the field of Tamil Christian Literature. He is a devoted priest, preacher, writer, philologist, historian and a great lover of Tamil. His some of the contributions to Tamil Christian Literature are given below: History of the Catholic Church in Ceylon 2. Early history of the ancient Popes 3.
Catholicism in Jaffna 4. Urkavathurai St. Athumam — The soul 2. Kadavulin Latsanam — The sign of God 3. Maru Pirappu Atsebam — A commentary on life after death 4.
Kiristuvin Kadavulthanmai — God-ness of Jesus 5. Universal Religion 6. Pavattai theera theertham 7. Iratsaniya pali — A book which explains about the holy sacrifice.
Life of Christ critically examined Theiveeka Virunthu — Sacredness of Eucharist Lurthil Nadakkum Athisayangal — Miracles of Lourdes Thabasukala Pirasangam — Sermon of the Lenten season.
Andavar Sarithiram — Life of our Lord. Christhu Nathar Sarithira Arayicci — a critical life of our Lord. Tamil Oppiyal Akarathi 2. An English — Tamil Dictionary manuscript 3. Tamil Arts Fine arts include music, art, dance, sculpture, drama and like. Having these amendments let us look at some of the features of fine arts.
Tamil Music Folk songs take an important role when we consider the music of Tamil culture. Nothing reveals the folk mind in the infinite range of its reactions, as the folk songs of a people.
Spontaneous in character, giving vent to inmost emotions and sentiments, these songs in simple tunes have an appealing charm of their own.
Rural life in its rich variety gives us a wealth of folk songs. Paddy — pounding is essentially a work of women. While they work, they begin to sing to avoid laziness. One woman begins a lyric, the other replies in the same tenor. The theme of the lyric may be love, nature, or any other. A window is ostracized from society. She is kept out of the auspicious ceremonies…She dare not wear coloured clothes, jewels of any kind, hair locks and the like which beautify the women.
The monotonous melody strikes our hearts to feel sad at the funeral houses. This is one of the precious works in Tamil language, which is used during the Season of Lent. Today, in North and East, this is sung or chanted according to their familiar tunes in churches. This rhythm is more appealing and creates a feeling of sadness. When Fr. Moreover, Carnatic music refers to traditional music of region called Karnadaga. Carnatic music is the classical music of Tamil.
The basic form is a monophonic song with improvised variations. There are 72 basic scales on the octave, and a rich variety of melodic motion. Both melodic and rhythmic structures are varied and compelling. These are the basic elements when a composer composes a catholic song. They analyze and arrive at the correct tune according to the meaning. The songs can be joyful, sad, courageous and so on.
They grasped these styles from the songs. Here, in Ceylon, We have many kinds of dances in Sinhalese culture as well as in Tamil culture. We have already discussed about Sinhalese dances. Now let us acknowledge the Tamil dance. Ritual dances date back to several centuries.
The great part religion has played in the development of the dance art. Devadasis who dances in the temples were the main people who developed this kind of art and eventually, society was sufficiently advanced and enlightened to take over the dance art from them. Actually, this kind of dance is more significant in temple processions.
It is more spiritual and sacred than sensual. When Sir Raghavan speaks of this kind of dance, he says, The dance is traditionally danced by maidens clad in light silken garments. Each balanced a pot of water on her head. The dancers waded out into the calm waters and strew white flowers they carried in their hands, invoking propitiation of the Gods and praying for the safety of the divers, favourable winds, calm weather, and freedom from pestilence, good fortune for themselves and their men folk and above all an abundance of oysters and pearls….
Through the vast concourse of the people gathered there which beggared description in the diversity of its varied pattern, the dancers had moved down from the temple to what was considered a safe distance, so that lustful eyes could not rest too close on their lissom form. There is a rich literature on the subject. The illuminating references to dancing contained in the sacred and secular literature, helped to trace the development of the art through the centuries.
Modern Bharata Natiya has the sequence of the items, which are based on the principle of Nritta, Nritya and Abhinaya. This dance entertains not only the ear but also the eye. The artist must possess a good memory, alertness, mental equipoise and a keen sense of rhythm. She should dance in a clean, polished and effortless manner.
The subject of Aharaya the make-up, costumes and jewels has received intelligent attention in recent times. It should be remembered that the complicated footwork involved the variety of adavu, jattis and the abhinayas involving facial expression and complicated gestures, are things wholly unknown to the west. Kummi is classified as one of the community or the coral dance.
The dances move in a circle with swaying and swinging movements in varying turns and reels keeping time by rhythmic clapping of hands.
The movements of clapping hands are single or double co — coordinating and harmonizing with the food — work. The kummi is played on all joyous social occasions, as at domestic events such as puberty ceremony, etc, and even in stage programmes. Kolattam is also classified as one of the community or the choral dances. The special element of this dance is the rhythm, which is kept up by the striking of sticks.
The loose ends of these are attached to the sticks of each of the dancers. The girls move round and round in varying rhythmic patterns striking the sticks to the rhythm of the songs. In the progress of moving about, the coloured ribbons get plaited, and get unwound by contra — movements.
Karaham is also a significant dance in Tamil culture. This dance is performed in important events, temple feasts and public functions. This pot decorated with flowers, certain kinds of leaves mango leaves — mavilai — or veppam leaves garlands.
The dancers dance according to the rhythm. There are some kinds of kavadai dance namely: They do these kinds of stuff as a sacrifice for gods or goddesses. Therefore, among the Tamil Catholics these dances are performed in cultural programmes of parishes, church feasts and in public gatherings.
Because of the Hindu background, certain kinds of cultural dances are not in use among the Catholics. Certain catholic people do not accept the meanings that Hindu people give for these dances, but apart from the religious perspectives, we need to consider it about the cultural elements of these Tamil dances.
Hence, there will not be any misunderstanding with regarding the fine arts of Tamil. Furthermore, it is said that, The Portuguese made capital of the indigenous dramatic elements and use the stage to further the propagation of their faith. Batdaenus ,the Dutch minister and historian testify to the activity in these words: Most of the church here have certain Scaffolds or theatres near them ,especially that of Tellipoli Telipalli where the Jesuits used to represents certain history of the Bible to the people.
Among the popular drama stage by the Tamils were: These two are distinguishing by the styles of music employed. Sometimes it extends from evening to early morning. During the play musicians, specially use symbols Sallari , tambourines Mattalam and Serapina harmonium. In this sense when we look at the drama in the Christian point of view, Rt. Edmund Peiris O. I says in his book: Christianity was not averse to dramatic performances as long as they did not infringe Christian morals and beliefs.
The primary constituents of drama are and representations. Both are present in the happenings which the liturgy records.
The mass is a mimesis and the elaborating of its rituals was the first step towards a Christian the atritical art. The sanctuary, however primitive was a stage, and the faithful, however few, were audience as well as actors…. The mysteries, miracles and the morality, which was experienced in the Holy Mass, were represented in the modern drama through the classical dramatic style.
This was also one of the reasons for the flourishing of Christian drama. In Sri Lanka as mentioned in the early chapters, the early Christian missionaries encouraged and even composed Christian drama in Sinhala and Tamil.
The Fathers used this puppet play in the passion play with images of sacred personages, especially in Vanni and later in Trincomalee and several other places. Moreover, in Christmas season, which is a season of joy and festivity among Christians, many dramas, were staged in the theme of birth of Christ and the incident connected with it. This is true even today. These dramas are very attractive and designed in the poetic tune without the original wording. The significant drama of St.
The drama was performed in many parts of the country. Many of the churches give important to this play in order to deepen the faith of laity. This includes customs and beliefs that they observe in day-to-day living from birth to death. Not all the Tamil customs but some of them are prevailing among the Tamil catholic people. When we speak of customs of Tamil, it has a special reference to Hindu religion.
Because of the history of Tamil origin and the influence of Hindu background because of this reason the Tamil culture is misunderstood now, the clear distinctions of the significant and uniqueness of Tamil customs has been understood by the Tamil Catholics, whether they are Christian or Hindu.
Therefore, let us deal with certain elements of social life of Tamil and their influences in Catholicism. The Childbirth in Tamil The Tamil tradition says many customs of the period of early childhood. Tamil people name the child on the thirty- first day. Then the child is taken to a temple for the religious services and they distribute food items with the people who come to the temple. Then when the child is grown the elders help to write the first alphabet of Tamil letters.
Among the Catholics, certain traditions exist, but the baptism is very important for a catholic child. Humorously we may say when a Child is taken to receive baptism, and then only the villagers will come to know that they have a newborn child.
The Tamils have in their culture for any special function of the family they always gather as one family. After the mass, the parents serve some food items with the parishioners as a sign of joy, but it is not obligatory. Some others who are able to afford, prepare meals to the relatives and they are invited for meals.
This is the normal observation that prevails among the Tamil catholic society. Tamil Marriage In the discussion of Tamil marriage, Catholics give more importance to the Holy Mass where the bride and groom become on flesh.
For a valid marriage, under the Thesawalmi one of the traditions of Tamils , there should be: Marriage is prohibited extends to alliance between any relations except cross cousins. Having this in their basement, they arrange marriage alliance. This is not strange to the Christian marriage tradition too. After the consultation of both parties, they do necessary arrangements and have the ritual part of Tamil marriage; this ritual part is very much influenced by Hindu religion.
This ceremony may long for two or three hours. Here certain elements have influenced the Tamil catholic marriages too. There are several customs among the Tamils because of the divisions of the caste system. Therefore, let us consider the marriage customs held in a general format. In Catholic marriage perspective, after all the necessary arrangements, the parish priest approves the marriage to take place in church.
Marriage takes place according to the Roman Rite, but there are certain cultural elements are included. If any regions use other praiseworthy customs and ceremonies when celebrating the sacrament of matrimony the Sacred Synod earnestly desires that retain these, by all means. In Tamil wedding there is a ritual called as holding of hands-paanikirahanam-. The bride and groom hold hands with the promise of staying together until death. This is also very similar to the catholic weddings, because the bride and the groom hold hands together and the holy water is poured.
After the tying of tali the parents of the both parties bless the newly married couple. Then the kurai saree is blessed, but the bride does not wear it during the mass.
In Tamil Hindu marriages there is a ritual called Akni-Pradakshinam going around the fire. They pay their reverence to the Agni-the sacred fire, the symbol of light, warmth, power, eternal, purification and energy. After the mass, the couple goes to wedding hall for Virunthupasaram wedding feast.
Funerals of Tamils Funerals of Tamils are more or less same as the Sinhalese but the terms they use are different. In any ceremonies of Tamils, caste determines the customs of that particular ceremony. It is also true with the Funerals. In general perception, let us look at certain elements. As soon as the person dies, the family informs their relatives and the known once.
They place the dead body for about three days but it is not obligatory. At the end of the day, the body is taken to the cemetery and to criminate. Among the Tamil Catholics, the funerals take place according to their cultures. Before the body is taken to the church, there is a small prayer service at the house. Then the priest sprinkles the holy water upon the deceased and those who around there. Afterwards, the body is taken to the church for funeral Mass. After the Mass, the body is taken to the cemetery.
According to the Tamil culture, no females are allowed to go to the cemetery. After the funeral in the customary fashion, all those who attend the function take bath before entering their respective houses.
This practice is prevalent in South India as well…. Sometimes this practice is continued for weeks. This usage is also found prevalent among the Tamils and the Sinhalese of Sri Lanka.
This takes place on the third day, on the thirty-first day and annually.
Yet, this almsgiving is not obligatory because of the statues of the family. During this day priest is invited and requested to the house to pray for the dead and for the family members. Other Cultural Elements of Tamils Tamil people their more concern when they built their houses. Among the Catholics, the parish priest is invited to lay the foundation stone and pray for the well construction of the house.
There is a small prayer in the Tamil ritual book for these kinds of services. Tamils, for any functions they appear in their traditional dresses.
In some of the places, they invite and offer some sweets, sugar, delicacies, or fruits. Eating habits vary geographically and shaped largely by what is grown in the different areas. The leaf is spread in front of the diner, with the tip pointing left. Serving begins with sweet to hot.