The Sri Lankan Student Association, also known as the MavLankans, served an authentic Sri Lankan dinner at the St. Thomas More Newman Center on Saturday, April 1. Their all-you-can-eat buffet dinner took place following a 20-minute presentation.
Salinda Jayaweera, the president of the MavLankans, expected about 200 people to come to the event. Tickets were not sold at the door, due to limited availability, but Jayaweera said at the time that they had been selling “pretty quickly.”
The money earned from the event is intended to go toward a good cause, Jayaweera explained beforehand. “All the funds we get from the Sri Lankan dinner will be going to one of the Red Cross charities in Sri Lanka.”
The dinner featured traditional Sri Lankan dishes, some of which included additional Asian spices. With regard to the menu, Jayaweera said, “Our main course is the authentic Sri Lankan yellow rice, and we have a chicken curry, a lentil curry, beans, and potatoes. We have a pineapple curry as well, and chocolate mousse for dessert, and authentic tropical fruit juice.”
Sri Lanka, located off the coast of India, is a small, teardrop-shaped island. Having lived in Sri Lanka, Jayaweera said of the country that, “It’s a very tropical island. There’s a lot of tourism, and it’s a very beautiful country. We’re all about the nature.”
Sri Lanka is also very ethnically diverse. Jayaweera said, “The most common ethnicities you can find in Sri Lanka are the Sinhalese, Tamil, Islam, and Burgher. The most common language is Sinhala, but people also speak Tamil and English.”
Since the founding of the MavLankan organization 10 years ago, this event marked their eighth annual Sri Lankan dinner. While the MavLankans are still a small organization, they are very active within the MNSU community. “There’s about 45 Sri Lankans at MSU right now. The numbers keep growing. Every semester we get at least five or six new Sri Lankans coming in,” said Jayaweera.
Coming up, the Sri Lankan Student Association will be hosting a Sri Lankan New Year festival on Saturday, April 15, which will be free and open to the public. The event will be held outside, near the fountain in the CSU mall. There will be a lot of fun games offered, like musical chairs, as well as dancing, and the MavLankans will also be selling authentic Sri Lankan food.