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‘KAPA-HAKA’ OR ‘HAKA’, Sri Lankan version…? Why not? by Jagath Wijeratne

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ශ්‍රී LankaNZ is a free distributed Sri Lankan Community Newspaper that aims to reach a Sri Lankan population of over 18,000 all over New Zealand. The demand for entertainment in literacy media itself gave birth to ශ්‍රී LankaNZ


Sri Lanka is tainted with three foreign invasions in the past; all were chased out of our beloved motherland by our forefathers. History bears loads of evidence that our ancestors fought fearless battles with invaders or battles within to safeguard our integrity of land. Chronicles bear testimony with much detail of our historical wars. I am trying to write down here that Sri Lankans as a nation, are losing their ability to work for a common goal, patriotism and camaraderie etc. In fact, we are losing everything we inherited from our ancestors and protected by our forefathers. Time has come to be united and add value to our existing talents and skills with a bit of empathy in it. So where do we start it, and how do we do it? This can be achieved only by going back to school.

This is where the changes to the Sri Lankan school curriculum come in. Even removing history as a subject from the curriculum is now bringing us its dire consequences. This is what I am suggesting. A minute change to the school curriculum would do no harm.

Being an educator to many nationalities, I have seen how culture and performing arts can be incorporated into instill quality into make Sri Lankan diaspora responsible citizens that benefit the nation. Let me now come to the main point that I want to bring along.

Have you ever heard a cultural performance called ‘KAPA-HAKA’ or ‘HAKA’, that New Zealanders love about? Actually the whole world loves it. This beautiful piece of performing arts can teach a child the importance of teamwork, bravery of their ancestors, patriotism etc. It is being performed at the beginning of any event in New Zealand. Small variations of New Zealand KAPA-HAKA can be seen in many countries around the world. ‘KAPA-HAKA or HAKA is an invitation/challenge to the opponent to battle in fairness on equal grounds.

Why not our education professionals in Sri Lanka also ponder a similar act…? Can we not do it…? Of course we can. Who is going to benefit…? We all will benefit from making the world a better place to live. So go for it and have our own KAPA-HAKA! A Sri Lankan version!

Jagath Wijeratne


Writer graduated from University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka and was a lecturer in ‘Genetics and Molecular Biology’ before immigrating to New Zealand, now a practising high school biology teacher in Auckland.

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