Annual 'SRI LANKA DAY' Will Take Place on Saturday, August 23rd on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA

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3rd Annual Sri Lanka Day on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica features Sri Lankan culture, food, fashion and music. Highlights include a Sri Lankan parade, and Miss Sri Lanka America and Miss Teen Sri Lanka America beauty pageants.

The Sri Lanka Foundation today announced that the annual 'SRI LANKA DAY' will take place on Saturday the 23rd August 2008 on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA. Since its inception in 2006, Sri Lanka Day includes the best of Sri Lankan culture and food from Wilshire Blvd to Arizona Ave, making Sri Lanka Day the biggest event held at the Promenade. All Sri Lanka day festivities are free to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

Sri Lankan Food

Sri Lanka Day is perhaps the only day of the year people in Los Angeles are able to have a taste of Sri Lankan food in a fun and festive environment, which is cooked live in the most exciting of ways. Thousands of families living in Santa Monica and greater Los Angeles have fallen in love with the food offered at Sri Lanka Day since the first Sri Lankan Day in 2006, and now people from San Francisco and even Canada make this their annual pilgrimage to quench their appetite for spicy, exotic Sri Lankan food.    

The favorite Sri Lankan foods available include; Hoppers- a crispy, pancake- type item made with many a twirl. The edges are crispy and the middle is soft. Hoppers are usually eaten with meat or vegetable curry. Kottu Roti-similar to a Mongolian barbecue- is made, with eggs, meat and vegetables-a treat to watch the cooking and tastes so good! String hoppers- a soft, stringy-type item accompanied by curry. Pol rotti-bread made of flour and coconut-served with spicy onions or curry. Sri Lankan savory short eats-that's the name for Sri Lankan snacks similar to Tapas and Empanadas-once you start with these you can't stop! Of course, they'll be lots of Rice and curry-made Sri Lankan style. And no Sri Lankan food festival would be complete without Sri Lankan Sweets-Colorful and delicious.

Sri Lanka Day Parade

At 4 P.M the Sri Lanka Day parade will take place with Sri Lankan dancers, drummers, masked performers, flag bearers and a theatre elephant to pay honor to an ancient parade that occurs annually in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka Day Parade is the most important event of Sri Lanka Day because of its ancient religious and cultural significance to Sri Lankans. The Sri Lanka Day Parade pays homage to the annual "Esala Perahera" held in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka in which hundreds of dancers, drummers, flag bearers, masked performers and elephants adorned with beautiful garments parade through the city. All performers and elephants in the "Esala Perahera" are pledged from various Hindu kovils, Buddhist temples and individuals who volunteer their time and resources as a sacred duty.

The religious importance of the "Esala Perahera" is that it is dedicated to the sacred tooth relic belonging to the Buddha. The sacred tooth relic is kept in custody of the "Temple of the Tooth" in the city of Kandy on behalf of the ruler of Sri Lanka and the custody of the tooth ensures the divine right to rule the land. The "Esala Perahera" is the only occasion where the sacred tooth relic is taken out of the temple and it is carried in a casket on top of an elephant.

Sri Lanka Foundation is proud that we have been able to organize the Sri Lanka Day Parade with the full support of the Sri Lankan community in Southern California, and are able to share our rich heritage in America.

Miss Sri Lanka America and Miss Teen Sri Lanka America pageant

The stage on Broadway and 3rd Street corner will be hosting the Miss Sri Lanka-America and the Miss Teen Sri Lanka America beauty pageants, a fashion show and teen dance crews.

You will see the beauties parading in colorful traditional Sri Lankan clothing including jacket and cloth and saris, evening wear and competing in a talent contest for the crown. The uniqueness of the Miss Sri Lanka America and Miss Teen Sri Lanka America is the focus on Sri Lankan culture and a relaxing of traditional pageant perimeters, opening the contest to all types of beauty: the conventional, the unconventional, the hidden, the incongruous, and the sublime.

Sri Lankan- American rapper DeLon will make a special stage appearance here at the Broadway and 3rd Street stage. There will be lots of dance crews and DJ's from Los Angeles to entertain the crowds.

A fashion show featuring models adorned in Sri Lankan batiks and other Sri Lankan clothing will take place at the same stage.

Non-stop Entertainment

The stage on the Wilshire and 3rd Street corner will host Sri Lankan and American musicians and dancers that will keep the audience entertained from 10 AM-10 PM. You will see the traditional Sri Lankan "Kandyan" dancers and drummers, Bharatha Natyam dancers perform throughout the day.

These traditional Sri Lankan performers are a rare treat in Southern California and usually attract many Asian dance enthusiasts and shutterbugs to see their mesmerizing performance.

There will be special dance performances highlighting the religious and cultural events important to the Sri Lankan community. This stage will come alive with the Sri Lankan American bands "Heat", "Beyond Asia", "Strangers" and a performance by George Rutnam's band playing popular Sri Lankan and western music until 10 PM.

Information about Sri Lanka Day and Sri Lanka Foundation is available via the Internet at:

http://www.srilankafoundation.org
http://www.slday.com
http://www.myspace.com/srilankafoundation
http://www.facebook.com/srilankafoundation
http://www.flickr.com/srilankafoundation
http://www.youtube.com/srilankafoundation
http://www.secondlife.com/srilankafoundation

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John Forrester
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