For over a decade, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) hasemphasised their aim to bring the value, beauty, reflection, pride and immortality of Sri Lankan culture to the forefront through the annual calendar, in different artistic ways under the main theme ‘Preserving Heritage for tomorrow’.
For the year 2020, SLT focused on the ‘Narration of Art’, considering how mediums of art are combined with different and unique techniques to communicate people’s imagination. The year before (2019), SLT dedicated their calendar to the ‘Splendours of Water’, with each month highlighting a different way in which water is utilized in Sri Lanka.To continue this great effort, SLTlaunched ‘Brassware of Sri Lanka’ as the calendar theme for the year 2021, to educate the future generations on Sri Lanka’s rich brassware craftsmanship.
Compiled in collaboration with the Department of National Museums, the SLT Calendar, 2021 depicts a cultural and artistic cross-section of ancient brassware emulating the richness of Sri Lankan heritage.
The SLT calendar for 2021 focuses on the ‘Golden Age’ of Sri Lankan Brassware manufacturing, which was during the Kandyan Period. Brass is a metal made by mixing copper and zinc. Large-scale production of brassware was supplied to members of royalty, chieftains, religious places of worship and general households. These products were often usedduring meals, when performing religious rites, in their day-to-day activities and sold in local markets.
Majority of the brassware manufactured during the Golden Age was decorated with floral designs and mythical creatures including Narilatha (creeper which bears flowers in the shape of woman), Kindura (merman), Gajasinha, (combination of an elephant and lion), designs of the sun and the moon and geometrical patterns.
Production of brassware was often used in day-to-day activities by many during that time. Inclusive of a conch (සංඛය), a Goddess Lakshmi lamp (ලක්ෂ්මීපහන), a ladle (කෙණිස්ස), an arecanut cutter (වැඳුම්ගිරය), a brass tray (පිත්තලබන්foAසිය), a chunam box (හුණුකි,aලෝටය) and a jewellery Box (ආභරණමංජුසාව) as well as many others, this calendar aims at highlighting the significance of Brassware in Sri Lankan culture.
Commenting on the launch, Ms.Sanuja Kasthuriarachchi, Director General of National MuseumSri Lanka stated,“What SLT does every year with their calendar is most commendable, as they highlight the beauty and aesthetic of local traditions and art. This year, we are proud to be able to join SLT in portraying our collection of brassware, housed in the National Museum. Art and historical objects give us a looking glass into the past, not only in the details of the object but also allowing us to deduce the lifestyles and beliefs of different eras in the past. Through partnering with the SLT calendar, we have been able to take this knowledge to the very households and offices in the country,”
Mr Kiththi Perera, CEO of SLT added his comments, “As the national telecommunication service provider, we take pride in collaborating with the Department of National Museums, to showcase brassware as a part of Sri Lankan heritage. This is more than just a combination of copper and zinc; it reflects our culture, our talent and our history. We believe it is our responsibility to communicate knowledge of this aspect of Sri Lankan identity to future generations and uplift our sense of national pride”.