By Thulasi Muttulingam
The sizable Maldivian diaspora living in Sri Lanka can hear the sounds of their motherland in Colombo, this Friday.
Sounds of Maldives – a mega music show that has been hugely popular in the Maldives since its inception two years ago, is using Sri Lanka as the venue this year. The idea is to cater to both the Maldivian diaspora as well as to showcase Maldivian culture / music to other cultures.
Being close neighbours with friendly relations over centuries, the two cultures have much in common. The Dhivehi language (language of the Maldives) is very similar to Sinhala. Almost certainly, genetic mixing with Sri Lankans has been happening for a long time. In fact, similar to our Prince Vijaya story, the Maldivians have a folklore of a Prince Koimala and his entourage from Sri Lanka, settling in their capital city Male’ and founding their original ruling dynasty.
The Maldivians have always been a talented and artistic lot but now they are beginning to make waves beyond the shores of their own country. One of the lead singers to be featured in this Festival, Unoosha, has now made it to Bollywood; she is one of the playback singers for Jism 2.
According to Ismail Hameed, director of the event managing company of the show, the line-up of artists number 42 – covering nearly all the current best artistes of the Maldives.
The event will be hosted by Mt. Lavinia hotel at the Mt. Lavinia beach, where the manager has also promised to provide Maldivian cuisine. The choice of venue is deliberate – the sea and beach is a big part of Maldivians’ lives.
“I always stay at the Mt. Lavinia Hotel, whenever I come to Sri Lanka – the sea breeze and ocean makes me feel right at home,” said Latheef. It is expected that the Maldivian fans who are expected to come all the way from Maldives as well as the diaspora attending will feel right at home by the Mt. Laviniya beach. It is also hoped many Sri Lankan music lovers will attend, to check out what their neighbours have to offer. The organizers are confident of making a big splash on the music scene here – the two cultures being so similar, the Sri Lankans would not have to acclimatize themselves to something completely alien – though it would yet sound fresh and new.
To those in the know, the line-up of artistes include some very famous on the Maldivian entertainment scene such as Unoosha, Barchie, E.sa, The 5, Dj Vifak, Harubee, Mira and Umar.
Tickets for the event are available at Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sri Lanka and in the Maldives, at Time Zone, Ramp and Baywatch Styl in Male’ and at Maldives Bliss, Hoalhuashi . In addition, Special packages from Maldives to the event are available at Capital Travel. Sounds of Maldives 2012 is being supported by the Maldives Tourism Board, Nescafe, STO, White Shades, Aura Solutions, Color Profile, Time Zone, Ramp, Baywatch Styl, Music World, Dhitv, MISC Magazine, Music World, Pop Joy, Mount Lavinia Hotel (Sri Lanka), Capital Travel and Dhiraagu.
The Mount Lavinia beach will come alive with the ‘Sounds of Maldives’ this Friday, 8 June.