<P>Elle: Sustaining togetherness in Sri LankaBy Chapa Perera Sri Lankan culture revolves around agriculture, with the majority of our folklore, traditions, beliefs, dance, art, literature and language drawing directly from it. Sports are no excep- tion. Elle (pronounces as el-lay), is believed to be one of the oldest sports in Sri Lanka, existing since time immemorial. No one knows for sure how the sport came to be, but the origin is clearly from the farming community. Tradition- ally, Elle was played with 16 players, and all of them play an inning. Sticks were used as bats and a dried fruit called ‘Wel Kurudu was used as the ball. The farmers would divide into two or three groups, and engage in this sport. It is very similar baseball. When talking about Elle, it is impossible to ignore its cultural significance. Sri Lanka has a rich cultural diversity, and most of the people who played the game in the early days worked in paddy fields. Working hard alongside each other in such close proximity in the scorching sun would have led to various frustrations and disputes but sports like Elle acted as the glue that kept people together. In the evenings, when the farming was finished, men, women and children would gather together, and play Elle. All the villagers cheer for all the teams, and what follows the game is a scrumptious meal shared among everyone. The cheerful banter and the exchange of ideas strengthened the bonds within the communities, and helped sustain togetherness, which is a must-need for an agri- cultural community. Yet another major fact is that women them- selves took part in playing this game. There was no discrimination, and everyone came togeth- er as one. Then, women were considered as vital stakeholders, not as passive observers. Unlike the modern times where most teams are divided on gender and age, the Elle teams saw colourful amalgamation of men, women and children alike. This fostered the feeling of intergenerational bonding, because it was the young ones who took over the farming from their elders. It is perhaps for all these reasons that Elle still is much loved in Sri Lanka, despite the introduc- tion of foreign sports such as cricket and rugby, during the 443 years of colonial rule.</p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/3/3/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/4/4/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/5/5/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/6/6/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/7/7/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/8/8/">Page-8</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/9/9/">Page-9</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/10/10/">Page-10</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/11/11/">Page-11</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/12/12/">Page-12</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/13/13/">Page-13</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/14/14/">Page-14</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/15/15/">Page-15</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/16/16/">Page-16</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/17/17/">Page-17</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/18/18/">Page-18</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/19/19/">Page-19</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/20/20/">Page-20</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/21/21/">Page-21</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/22/22/">Page-22</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/23/23/">Page-23</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/24/24/">Page-24</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/25/25/">Page-25</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/26/26/">Page-26</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/27/27/">Page-27</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/28/28/">Page-28</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/29/29/">Page-29</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/30/30/">Page-30</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/31/31/">Page-31</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/32/32/">Page-32</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/33/33/">Page-33</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/34/34/">Page-34</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/35/35/">Page-35</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/36/36/">Page-36</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/37/37/">Page-37</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/38/38/">Page-38</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/39/39/">Page-39</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/40/40/">Back-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publications/760/x/sitemap.xml" target="_blank">site map</a></LI> </UL>

 

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