Dear friends, I found this article on web and thought it would be a great to post it here in our sinhalaya National forum
In olden times Sinhala villagers when they toiled in the paddy field, worked in plumbago mines, rowed boats, drove bullock carts, especially in the nights had a sweet song on their lips. They were capable of expressing their ideas, thoughts and feelings in the loveliest poetry to be found in the Sinhala language, which were spontaneous feelings arising in simple minds. They sang their way into our hearts.
Our sweetest songs are those that speak of sad thoughts. It was sorrow that produced great poetry.
The voice of the unknown poet, they are just a memory now, a dying culture. In modern times with the introduction of television, cassette player and radio these songs and Siv Pada have come out of place, become unpopular and gone into limbo.
Sinhalese womenfolk have excelled and figured in the alluring pastime known as onchilli pedima. The songs sung by these females have been handed down to us from our forefathers as also, carters’ songs, boatmens’ songs and other Siv Pada of a bygone era.
The ancient ordinary villager was capable of expressing his innermost feelings and faith in the sweetest of poetry to be found in the Sinhalese language. Our Sinhalese merry makers revelled in singing these melodious songs which made the New Year celebrations seemingly lively.
They were a living testimony to the peace and tranquility that existed among the village folk. But the present day damsels, boys and girls both from the villages and towns have more alluring pastimes than enjoying in a swing singing Siv Pada.
Their rendervous are the numberless sangeetha sandharahanas or musical events where they gather in unpredictable numbers wherever they are held on day to day arrangements unrelated to any’ significant occasion appearing on the calendar.