The fascinating traditions and rituals of a diverse multi-ethnic and multi-religious society nourished, unified and sustained by water, are explored through the unique and thought provoking 2011 calendar of Sri Lanka's top apparel exporter Brandix.
The final offering in a three-part series, the new Brandix calendar themed 'Water in Life' delivers a powerful and timely message on the importance of water, in yet another articulation of the Group's community outreach focus of 'Care for Water.' Drawing inspiration from the rich traditions of the past that are associated with this precious natural resource, it reminds us how each individual of every ethnicity and religion is responsible for its conservation.
Colourful images depicting religious and cultural rituals, some fast receding from practice to the confines of memory, grace the leaves dedicated to the 12 months of the year. Each image is accompanied by informative descriptions in Sinhala, English and Tamil.
The calendar journeys into the world of the supernatural by enlightening readers on the beliefs linked to the spiritual power of water among followers of the four main religions in the country. It shows how the spiritual cleansing power of water is symbolised by the Buddhist ritual of watering the Bodhi tree, the Hindu 'abhisheka' rite of washing statues of deities in temples, the Christian 'baptism' ceremony at which water is poured on the head of the new-born baby and the Islamic custom of washing the head, feet, hands and arms before reading the holy Quran.
With the aid of a series of striking images the unique and innovative calendar explores the traditional beliefs regarding the ability of water to ward off evil and to bring about prosperity. Images of a water cutting ceremony at which the pure is symbolically separated from the impure; a Kandyan dancer looking at his reflection on the mirrored surface of water on the day of his ordination before 'entering the world of whirls and sacred rhythms'; a water-filled pot being smashed during a girl's 'coming of age' ceremony to dispel evil influences on the newly fertile young girl; a 'pirith' cord threaded around a pot of water and a bridegroom's feet being washed before being ceremonially welcomed to his new household are among the many depictions of this aspect of water.
The predecessors to Brandix's 2011 calendar were themed 'Water in Reflection' (2009) and 'Water in Vessels' (2010). The unique series highlights an often forgotten aspect of water -- its transcendental significance to diverse cultures and religions. These calendars are part of the Group's long term initiative to promote the conservation of water through advocacy and community outreach projects.
The trilogy of Brandix's water themed calendars was conceptualised and produced in collaboration with the Group's creative partner Q&E Advertising, Colombo.