The much awaited opportunity came to a reality after having long discussions, negotiations, debates, deliberations with different stakeholders with this first two tourist flight arrival after having shutdown nearly a years’ time due to Global Novel COVID Outbreak affected worldwide. The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport authorities have made huge efforts to welcome the arrival of two flights consist of tourist in compliance with the operational formalities at the airport by having special emphasis towards the health formalities against COVID 19.
While the Airport Authorities have made the arrangements to welcome the tourist, the Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board Mr. Jayampathy Molligoda made arrangements to welcome the tourist by welcoming them with a cup of Ceylon Tea including a tradition sweets and savories. Further, nicely choreographed cultural performances have been organized related to tea for conveying the legacy of over 150 years Ceylon Tea including Prashanthi, Tea ceremony and Tea Pluckers Dance. The Dancing performance was done by Chandana Wickarasignhe & Dancers Guild.
Sri Lanka Tea Board was realized that ancient cultures such as China and Japan have within their traditions a near-sacred ceremonial event with especial manners and customs in brewing and serving tea among distinguished visitors but Sri Lanka does not have a tea ceremony of our own. Hence, The Sri Lanka Tea Board launched this concept in 2013, namely, a unique Ceylon tea ‘ceremony’ for Ceylon Tea with customs in brewing and serving tea among distinguished visitors.
The Ceylon Tea Ceremony concept was based on the Sri Lankan hospitality within a setting of a King of Sri Lanka welcomed his noble audience of visitors and summoned the ladies of the court to proceed with serving the guests the finest Ceylon tea and refreshments. The tea was served by damsels dressed in traditional ancient attire of a royal palace. The objective of such a ceremony is to bring respect and appreciation to a beverage that is cherished by the world ever since it was found over 5000 years ago. This event was done in a stylish manner with graceful movement and erythematic emphasis which is called ‘Prasasthi’.
In order to respect the beverage, the Ceylon tea was ceremonially brought and served in a “pan kendiya” accompanied with “manel” flowers and incense sticks which were all synonymous with Sri Lankan traditions. The Ukraine tourist team got a chance to enjoy traditional Sri Lankan sweet such as Bibikkam Cake, Kalu Dodol and Savories along with the Ceylon tea. The Ceylon Dimbulla tea was freshly brewed and served to Ukrainian Tourist by Sri Lankan Catering. During the Ceylon Tea Ceremony was performing by the dancers, the Ceylon Tea history, Seven Regional tea varieties, special taste and health benefits were briefed by the visitors also.
Finally, the resume of operations at the airport is expected to recover the considerable negative impact made specifically in the tourist industry nearly the past one year period.