- Ups, downs, and highlights
- By Venessa Anthony
This year has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. We, as a country, went through a lot; and while the situation is not completely back to normal, people seem more hopeful for 2023, wishing for a good start and a better life. Times were dark and dreary, and perhaps it’s the Christmas spirit, but people seem all the more determined to make the most of the last quarter of the year and really end it off with a bang.
The Morning Brunch caught up with a few personalities for a quick recap of 2022, and what their highlight of the year was.
As life coach, author, and designer Yasodhara Pathanjali pointed out: “There’s no way to address 2022 without acknowledging the ‘aragalaya’.” She noted that historically, politically, socially, and personally it has changed us forever, and she is certainly not wrong. It was a strong turning point for us as a country and gave the people a much-needed feeling of unity and a cause to come together. Pathanjali explained that to her, the opportunity that the “aragalaya” gave for introspection, not just for herself but for each of us, was powerful, and allowed us to review our roles in upholding unhealthy social norms.
“So for me, 2023 will be all about taking the lessons learned from the ‘aragalaya’ to be more of a person that I could be proud of, – for myself, my family, and for Sri Lanka,” she stated. This pivotal moment in history was certainly – and hopefully – one we will not forget for a long time to come and one that will remind us of our priorities.
Two dancesport championships by T&A Fitness
The Morning Brunch caught up with dance fitness trainer and T&A Fitness Co-Founder Tarja De Silva, who told us, excitedly, that this year, T&A Fitness organised two dancesport championships for the first time, which was without a doubt the highlight of De Silva’s year. Given the current situation, De Silva commented that there was a lot of uncertainty in the country in the months leading up to the event.
“The young dancers have been eagerly waiting for a competition to showcase their talents and gain experience. We badly wanted to keep the spirits of the dancers alive and so we thought of organising the competition in a small way as a purely non-profit event,” she told us. “As the word got out, unsurprisingly, a large number of dance schools showed their interest in participating and we were able to put together a very successful event with over 50 dancers in total.”
Looking ahead, De Silva informed us that T&A Fitness intends to grow the fitness and dance community with her guidance as well as that of her husband and T&A Co-Founder Alberto, all the while keeping in mind to never lose the sense of family and community within the group.
Sharing her highlight for 2022, presenter and content creator Saasha Karunarathne stated that starting a business in the middle of an economic crisis and being able to stabilise it within a few short months was certainly an impressive task, given how unpredictable the last year has been. “I didn’t think I was ever capable of it, but the last eight months have felt like four years of growth and learning,” she told us. While 2022 was a challenging year for all of us, for Saasha, who loves to look on the bright side, it was her favourite year of life so far.
The people’s movement
As Jetwing Hotels Director of Marketing and Communication Hashan Cooray observed, the events of this year will be spoken about for years and decades to come. He noted that sometimes when we live through it, we forget to reflect and realise how much we actually went through as a country, both good and bad, and the impact it will have on our island’s history.
“Personally, something I reflect on regularly is the peoples’ movement, which is sadly not spoken enough about anymore,” he stated, adding that ordinary citizens coming together and showing the world what people can do through a peaceful protest is legendary. “I have never felt prouder to be a Sri Lankan, and despite the current circumstances, I am extremely confident that our economic revival will begin with all people working together towards that goal,” he commented.
Cooray also observed that the people will have to make sacrifices for a short time, but through collective action, will leave a better country for future generations of Sri Lankans, while also making the country a global economic powerhouse in the next decade. He urged Sri Lankans to have faith in the country and its people and resources, and see themselves living here and contributing to the economic revival. “That will be the legacy left by young Sri Lankans of today. I wish all Sri Lankans a prosperous 2023, and may God bless us all with the wisdom, courage, and patience to navigate through the challenges ahead. We will bounce back soon,” he shared.
Enjoying the small things in life
The financial crisis has taught us many lessons. Event planner, PR consultant and Haut Monde Event Management & PR Founder Treshan Weerasooriya noted that life has not been easy; rather, it has been very challenging the last year.
“My work life has been affected, as well as my personal life, but since of late, Sri Lanka has been bouncing back,” he said, adding that December has been kind to him as an event planner and PR consultant. Despite all the challenges, he said that he has managed to keep his company afloat. Another highlight for him was hosting one of Colombo’s most happening events – the fashion show Aarya by Indi. “That was a smashing success and I think it helped December pick up a little faster,” he added.
“I was even able to travel to Europe, take a small vacation, and come back refreshed; it was a very welcome vacation,” he told us.