Thursday, June 13, 2013

National anthems, intermissions and censorship

If you haven't been to the cinema in Sri Lanka, I really must encourage you to visit one of the local cinemas. You're missing out on a unique cultural experience. I say this, with a little smile on my face, because I'm reminded of this little nugget while on a recent trip to the movies.

The cinema experience on the tiny island has definitely improved over the past few years. In my early days, I hesitated to frequent the cinemas around Colombo because they were largely run down, a bit grubby and had limited runs of a handful of the latest movie releases. These days, due to renovations (and/or expansion) and a greater distribution of recent releases (particularly the action genre), the overall viewing experience has improved.

Now, what about the quirky part you ask? I'm of two minds as to whether to share this with you or not. If I tell you then it wouldn't be a surprise nor would you get the "full experience". But then again, it's kind of nice to share it with you because it's just different from any other movie experience I've had. By the way, this is not being judgmental, but just sharing my observations about something that's unique here.

Firstly, at some cinema screenings they play the Sri Lankan national anthem at the beginning of the movie. It doesn't happen all the time as far as I've seen because I went to see a Sinhala movie at Liberty and this didn't happen, but then when I went to see an English movie at Majestic they did. Usually, everyone stands up for this short snippet of the national anthem...

** Please note, the full blog post has been removed as parts of the blog content will be edited for inclusion in an upcoming publication by the author. More information will be made available on the Adventures in a Tuk-Tuk Blog in due course **

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