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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2790

Preserving Sri Lanka’s Cultural Heritage- Cheeththa Couture at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

Paris, 21 November, (Asiantribune.com):

The Permanent Delegation of Sri Lanka to UNESCO introduced young and versatile Sri Lankan artist Deneth Piumakshi’s art and fashion collection “Kurunegala-Rive Gauche” at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France last week

Deneth’s artistic expression and fashion designs which revitalize and sustain intangible cultural heritage of Sri Lanka, were highly appreciated and enjoyed by over a hundred UNESCO Ambassadors and representatives of Member States from the European, African, Arabic, Latin American and Asian regions. Also present as special guests were Mr. Jean-Yves Langlais Director General of Cité des Arts (Resident University for artists) in Paris and Mme. Isabelle Quehe, President of the Association of Universal Love and Founder of the Salon Ethical Fashion Show in Paris. Celebrities of the French fashion design industry, modeling agencies and French press reporters and members of the Sri Lankan Diaspora attended this event.

Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Sri Lanka to UNESCO, Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte reiterated the cultural identity and traditional value of colorful and vibrant cotton textiles known as Cheeththa which he described as “hand woven and hand-printed materials with colorful flower designs, traditionally worn by rural women and girls, mostly the farming community in villages, for day to day wear as well as for festive occasions”

Ambassador Hangawatte further expanded on the crucial role played by Sri Lankan artist Deneth Piumakshi, recognizing her as a dedicated contributor to sustainable development in her hometown Kurunegala: “Deneth creates fashion and trends utilizing elements of her culture with a keen awareness of supporting her local community. By working with Sri Lankan families in her hometown Kurunegala, she provided self-sustenance to nearly 50 rural women who produce all of her collections and work on hand-made accessories.”

Deneth is first to use cheeththa to design modern clothing in Sri Lanka. While her fashions aim at introducing a novel form of casual, elegant and comfortable clothing in Sri Lanka and internationally, they help to revive interest in cheeththa among the youth in the country and pass on an important element of Sri Lanka’s intangible cultural heritage to the next generation. “Deneth’s designs help to preserve an old form of clothing indigenous to Sri Lanka which is fast disappearing today due to the adoption of modern, mass produced clothing” Ambassador Hangawatte further adds.

In his address to the gathering, Assistant Director General for Culture at UNESO Mr.Franceso Bandarin insisted on the unique quality and subtle beauty of the Sri Lankan artist’s work, commending Sri Lanka for the initiative taken towards the promotion of its intangible cultural heritage at UNESCO. Reiterating the role of culture as a tool for sustainable development in today’s modern societies, Mr.Francesco Bandarin further encouraged representatives of all countries present to maintain their support and interest in the role of culture for development and adopt a vision of “culture for power!”

Deneth Piumkshi is currently a resident artist at Cité des Arts in Paris and has studied fashion designing in France since last year after receiving the Best Designer award for the presentation of her “Flower Power collection” at Colombo Fashion Week 2012.

- Asian Tribune -

Preserving Sri Lanka’s Cultural Heritage- Cheeththa Couture at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
Preserving Sri Lanka’s Cultural Heritage- Cheeththa Couture at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
Preserving Sri Lanka’s Cultural Heritage- Cheeththa Couture at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
Preserving Sri Lanka’s Cultural Heritage- Cheeththa Couture at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
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