26 October, 2021

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A Child’s Guide To The Behavioural Pattern Behind ‘Menike Mage Hithe’

By W A Wijewardena –

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Aseni, the wiz kid in economics, has been overexcited by the continued popularity of the video released by the young singer, Yohani de Silva. Within a matter of a month, it hit more than 100 million clicks for the main video and another 50 million in other sites that imitated it. It has been loved by music fans throughout the globe, a rarity for a singer from Sri Lanka. This had prompted the Marketing Guru of marketing in Sinhalese fame, Nalin Abeysekera, to brand it as an instance of taking Sri Lanka’s music industry to the global arena. She could not wait until she got the views of her economics mentor, Grandfather Sarath Mahatthaya, an ex-officer of the Finance Ministry.

The following is the dialogue between the two of them.

Aseni: Grandpa, the Sri Lankan young vocalist Yohani has released a music video which has gone viral throughout the globe. This is the first time it has happened. Have you watched it? What is your opinion on this?

Sarath: Indeed, I did. I enjoyed it immensely. It had been produced beautifully capturing Yohani’s face on camera at close range. Her eyes and voice have been the main attraction. She has in fact been able to penetrate the impossible glass barrier that effectively blocks a singer from this part of the world from entering the global market. I have observed that her fans have been from all over the world. Some of them had not even heard of the country called Sri Lanka. Now they have been inquisitive about that country and the strange language in which she had sung her song. She has shown us the path to the global market. But that direction per se is not sufficient. Sri Lanka must do a lot more to break the glass barrier for others.

Aseni: What are those additional things that we should do, Grandpa?

Sarath: The global music market is a complex one. We have two problems to tackle. One is the competition coming from other artists from this region as well as from the West. The other is the normal human behaviour. I will talk about it later.

Aseni: What is this competition which we have to tackle?

Sarath: The size of the global music market is about US$ 23 billion per annum. Of that, the streaming market in which Yohani is operating is about $ 12 billion or slightly higher than Sri Lanka’s annual exports. If we can tap at least 5% of the streaming market, it is about $ 600 million, more than our export of coconuts, rubber, and seafoods combined. The important factor is that its value addition is close to 100%.

There are other singers like Yohani who have captured this market. You may be aware that the Korean singer Psy who sang in Gangnam Style has about 700 billion hits for his original video and other ones produced by latecomers using it. From our part of the world, from India, actor cum vocalist Danush of Why this Kolavari Di fame has got about 700 million hits. His later song, Rowdy Boy, has exceeded even 1 billion hits. Singer Shakira who sang the theme song Waka Waka for the 2010 FIFA World Cub has 3 billion clicks. Britney Spears who sang her maiden Baby One More Time has got a total of 800 million clicks. Among these giants, we are a podian. Competing them out is not an easy task.

Aseni: What is this normal human behaviour that would go against us?

Sarath: These artistes will not remain forever at the top. If it happens it becomes explosive. But their popularity starts waning after some time mainly due to a special feature of human behaviour. That feature has been identified in a branch in economics now called behavioural economics. In terms of the principles of this branch of economics, changing human behaviour will pull these popular artistes down from the pedestals on which they are sitting. Hence, what is gained by any artiste or politician, or writer is not a permanent one. This is specifically true for politicians. They are up in the sky today. But tomorrow they will be forced to make a hard landing onto the ground.

Aseni: Wow, I am hearing about behavioural economics for the first time. How did this branch in economics come into being?

Sarath: Of course, the whole subject of economics is based on human behaviour. Therefore, there is nothing new about this subject. But it was forcefully presented by some economists toward the middle of the 20th century. Some of them even got the Nobel Prize in economics for their contribution to expand the frontiers of the subject.

In a nutshell, behavioural economics is the incorporation of psychological, cognitive, cultural, social, and emotional factors into the analytical foundation in economics. When you incorporate them into economic analysis, you must change the reasoning and logic behind each economic theory. Take for example the ordinary demand theory. We are told that the utility maximizing consumer will buy more when the price is low and less when the price is high. That is how we get the downward sloping demand curve. But when you add cultural or emotional factors to it, your demand curve even becomes upward sloping meaning that consumers buy more when the price is high and less when it is low.

There are many who have contributed to the subject matter in behavioural economics. In 1957, Herbert Simon came up with a modification to the idea of rationality that we use in economics. Rationality means that people will take into consideration all minuses and pluses of a decision they must make and decide in favour of it if and only if pluses are at least equal to minuses. This presumes that people have all the necessary information, time and resources to assess the pluses and minuses. However, Simon said that the rationality is a ‘bounded rationality’ due to lack of information, time, and brainpower. Hence, the choices are not optimal. Then, two psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky introduced psychology to economics. Another economist, Richard Thaler, presented the importance of nudging in decision making. All these, except Tversky who had pre-deceased when Kahneman got it, have got the Nobel Prize in economics for their contribution. It itself shows the importance of behavioural economics.

Aseni: How does this behaviour of people affect young artistes like Yohani?

Sarath: A modern marketing Guru, Jonah Berger of the Warton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, has published a fine book in 2016 titled ‘Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior’ explaining to laymen these high theories in simple language. 

One of the influencing factors for people to like what others do is the herd behaviour. If you are in a herd and if others in the herd like something, you are also likely to like it. The economists call this ‘bandwagon’ effect, the desire to be included in a group. Hence, you jump on to the bandwagon and ride it to show that you are also a member of the larger group. A good example is the preference for brands. If other members of the group like iPhones, it is more likely that you also like them. By expressing your preference for iPhones, you also demonstrate your belongingness to the group. This can be further identified when one looks at the preference for particular models of iPhone like 9, 10, 11, or 12. When iPhone 13 hits the market, if others in the herd have gone for it, you too will invariably go for it. The sudden jump in the preference for Yohani is also guided by this principle.

Aseni: Grandpa, why should people jump on to Yohani’s bandwagon?

Sarath: Berger has provided a fine account of how singer Britney Spears became so popular within such a short period of time. She had sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Of them, 37 million have been digital albums, the type of music business which Yohani could engage herself. Berger says Britney became a success because through the marketing done by her own fans. When one likes her for whatever the reason, he tells his mates, those mates their other mates and so on. Finally, everyone in the business wants to jump her bandwagon and become included in the club of fans. This happens so quickly that it spreads like a wildfire and not a single or a group of dissidents can stop it.

Berger also narrates the success story of J K Rowling and her Harry Potter series. Her first Harry Potter had been rejected by 12 publishers on the ground that it was too long, and children’s books were not money makers. Finally, one of the publishers, approached by Rowling, had given it to his daughter who had immediately got enamored by it. She had started nagging him for months until he could not resist her demand anymore. The book was published and people of all walks of life wanted to jump to her bandwagon and be included.

Aseni: That is great. It means this bandwagon theory can uplift any artiste to the greatest heights of his profession and leave him there?

Sarath: Not exactly. That is because there is another effect called snob effect that comes into being. That effect will push the person down from the high pedestal to which he has been raised.

Aseni: Snob effect? I have not heard of it. What is it?

Sarath: That is the opposite force of the bandwagon effect. Bandwagoners want to be included. As a result, I like something because you like it. But the snob effect says that I do not like it because you like it, or I like it because you do not like it. Here the objective is to be excluded. In other words, people want to project themselves as different from others. That can be done not by joining the club but by moving out of the club. Therefore, snobbers are outsiders.

Aseni: Are the snobbers same people as bandwagoners?

Sarath: Yes and no. Yes, because when people are saturated in one thing, they get lower and lower satisfaction from an additional unit of same thing. This is what you have learned as diminishing marginal utility in school. But the analysis has now moved farther than that. After some time, people start feeling there is no more kick by being in the club. They meet the same people, talk to the same people, converse on the same topic again and again. At that time, psychologically, they want to be different. When that motive strikes them, they want to leave the bandwagon and develop themselves as distinctly different people. At that stage they start loving being different. Hence, the very same people who had earlier liked someone because others also liked him begin to dislike him and be different. At that stage, the snob effect takes over. In addition to that there are snobbers right-away. They are a minority, but it is those who have earlier been bandwagoners are the people who rock the apple cart. Therefore, being hit by snobbers later is the common risk faced by artistes, writers, and also politicians.

Aseni: This reminds me of the popular song sung by Nanda Malini on lyrics written by Sunil Ariyaratne. It says that it is those who have lifted you to the pedestal are the ones who will stone you later. But how does this apply to politicians?

Sarath: Your comparison of the situation with that song is perfectly correct. As for politicians, you know very well that every politician rides to power through a massive bandwagon exercise. The voters are emotionally touched by them to jump on to the bandwagon they have created for the gullible voters. But the voters who have voted him to power because others also have decided to vote for him will soon get frustrated and want to be different. Then, they leave the bandwagon and want to be different. You can judge it for yourself by examining the election results of every election and reading through the public opinion after one year or so. Hence, if a politician thinks that his power base is permanent and strong, he is very badly misguided.

Aseni: Thanks Grandpa, for the illustration. I now know that Yohani could avoid being hit by snob effect by recognizing that her current popularity is to wane quickly. So, she should come up with a new video as J K Rowling had done by releasing a series of Harry Potter novels.

Sarath: Exactly.

*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at waw1949@gmail.com 

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Latest comments

  • 16
    0

    I congratulate Yohani for the hit ‘Menike Mage Hithe’. However I am interested to know the break down of the click by countries.

    My guess is predominantly the clicks are in the Indian sub continent. The main reason is due to the video of Amitabh Bachan dancing to this tune…I am not sue if he was dancing to this song or whether his grand daughter edited another video with this song.

    In India and among Indians spread around the globe anything Amitabh Bachan sayd or does go viral.

    • 12
      1

      ….so well done Yohan for stealing Amitabh Bachan’s grand daughter’s heart with the song ……you deserve the success of the song ….but I certainly wont be listening to it over and over again …..but on the other hand I am in my 70s

      • 10
        1

        Yes, Yohani’s song is doing quite well currently. But Dr.W didn’t mention the stodgy old music establishment and its Visharadas. I doubt if that lot will ever get this many YouTube hits.

        • 5
          0

          Dear oc,
          .
          I don’t know much about Visharadas, but whilst typing this I’m listening to a piece of music that is 72 minutes long and has had many, many hits.
          .
          I actually saw this article before there were any comments, but I spent some time listening to this charming song whose Youtube is only 2 minutes 47 seconds.
          .
          I’ve already submitted a comment aimed at NV. What have I got against that “aborigine”? Nothing criminal, but he has not revealed to us who he really is. Now in your case, apart from being guilty of the same offence, you’ve been telling me that MBS is a wonderful guy, whereas I’m convinced that he’s a conspirator who beats all others.
          .
          The question is, what binds this song which brings pleasure to us all, with Sony founder, Akio Morita, Furtwängler, and the music that I’m listening to?
          .
          No conspiracies in this, although I’m hoping that we can get readers to think, when I get back here later today – it’s just after midnight in this VishramikaGambadaIngirisiIskoleMahattaya’s home in the Province where the majority of Veddas reside. I only hope that our over-worked CT moderators allow us a bit of leeway.

          • 3
            0

            S.M,
            “you’ve been telling me that MBS is a wonderful guy, “
            You misunderstand me. MBS is no more wonderful than the Rajapaksas. He’s there simply because his family owns the country (like Namal) . BUT ordinary Saudis are much better off than 40 years ago. Are we?
            Check out the musical link I gave Native.

            • 3
              0

              Yes, oc, I understand.
              .
              Some guys are fortunate, it’s important that we remain balanced in our own views, and don’t let envy, the “green-eyed monster” consume us.
              .
              What we were shown were city-Saudis who kept praising the current establishment, but I fear that it is all cosmetic. That by conforming to what the establishment expects of them, that they are better off than they were is correct without doubt.
              .
              I’m glad that nobody has either liked or disliked what I posted more than a day ago; there are some things that may be unexpected that I could point out at leisure tomorrow.
              .
              I have listened to the “Jayamangala Gatha” that you gave Native; lovely.
              .
              However, now I must hasten down, tell RTF that I’ve heard Gota at the UN, and get some sleep.

          • 5
            0

            Before writing anything else here, I must tell you that although I enjoy listening to lots of music, it’s all passive, and i has been certified that I can’t even sing!
            .
            I googled for the Western Classical Music with the highest “hits” and the result surprised me somewhat.
            .
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOjHhS5MtvA&t=385s
            .
            32,621,280 views since 8 May 2015; length 81 minutes 22″, with the music proper lasting about 72 minutes. So, that was what i was listening to whilst typing the above.
            .
            Let us remember, though, that this music was written more than 197 years ago, by deaf man, and an elaborate operation had to be mounted to prevent the 200 performers paying any heed to poor Beethoven who thought that he was conducting. If you take account of the fact that there are more than a hundred recordings of this work, and that a part of it is now the European anthem, that’s staggering.
            .
            Akio Morita loved the symphony and stipulated that the CD,

            .

            • 3
              0

              Continuing . . .
              .
              That slipped out while typing. So,
              .
              Akio Morita loved the symphony and stipulated that the CD, the player, and all appurtenant should be slightly enlarged from what the engineers had designed so that every possible performance of the symphony could be accommodated on a CD. The slowest and most majestic performance was by the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler and recorded live on July 29. 1951.
              .
              Whatever else I write on this, I will place at the bottom of the page. Few return to an article that is four days old, but I hope that many observations relevant to the issues already raised by this article, and in comments made by others, can be addressed. The life-span of a work of music is a passim theme here.
              .
              But for us, chafing under this lock-down, what must be most compelling is meditating on how frustrating growing deafness, which began when he was about thirty years old in 1800, must have been for the greatest musician ever. This music premiered on May 7, 1824; accounts of the stone-deaf Beethoven’s behaviour on the occasion are heartbreaking.

      • 10
        0

        Rajash,
        .
        Thanks must go to Dr Wijewardena for writing this up; he, too, is the same age as us, but he’s always on the look out for happy things that he can give us, to intersperse with his articles on the serious subject of Central Banks, where, again, he tries to make his views comprehensible to laymen.
        .
        This is the version that has now been seen 117,256,348 times, three of them by me just now, but they’ve been counted only as once.
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgCliOxl41o
        .
        The information you craved; a Wikipedia entry on the song has appeared on the 24th of August.
        .
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manike_Mage_Hithe
        .
        Some of the other versions also are there, and also a different version with other artistes had appeared last year. However, I think that this is the most appealing.
        .
        There’s all the spontaneity and innocence of young love captured in this. Yohani still appears to be a teen-ager, although that is not the case. She has received good education, including in Music. There is quite a lot o the internet, including other versions, including this in Tamil:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bhnh1C0Gqg
        .
        Let’s see what other comments are made before we broaden the discussion.

        • 6
          0

          Sinhala_Man Thanks for the various link.
          wikipedia says..
          It was uploaded on YouTube on 22 May 2021 coinciding with the Republic Day of Sri Lanka.
          ======
          Does Sri Lanka celebrate Republic Day in addition to Independence Day and War Heroes Day
          =====
          any other day I have missed out?
          is there a Day of Liberation?

        • 6
          0

          Sinhala_Man: Did you hear what MP Nalin Bandara of SJB said in Parliament? He said: “Parliament must honor Yohani”. Very great and how we have become very trendy.

          In the meantime, I saw some pictures of the present status of “Amaradeva Asapuwa”. That half-built “Asapuwa” is now covered with over-grown bushes and abandoned. Still, the “Ashes” of Late Pandit Amaradeva is in an urn kept at a funeral parlor. How “GREAT” we have forgotten an icon and a legend of Sinhala Music and turned out to be “TRENDY”?

      • 11
        1

        Rajash

        I beg to differ.
        Who gave her the permission to make people happy as you know we produce people such as Rohana, Soloman, Siri Mao, ……. Gota, Mahinda, ……………. 6.9 million to keep this country in constant Dukka or Duḥkha.

        How dare she suddenly appears from (nowhere) and make us all happy. This must be a foreign conspiracy. I am determined to listen to as many versions of her songs and yet will remain sad.

        A sign of happiness will make the rulers and their functionaries, especially Kamala Gunaratne, jitter.

        I am sad.
        Cry Baby Sarath Weerasekera’s new supergrasses please note.

        • 7
          0

          Native Vedda
          can you imagine if Emma Raducanu instead of Chinese/Romanian parentage she was Chinese/Sri Lankan parentage?
          —-
          Some one in Botswana became Miss Teeanger and she happened to be of sri Lankan roots and Namal Baby is so excited he is jumping up and down with tweets and instagram

          • 10
            1

            Rajash,
            How desperate we are to prove our greatness!

          • 1
            0

            I mean Miss Teen International

        • 2
          0

          Dear, dear Native,
          .
          You and your conspiracy theories! You’re going to be in for a shock tomorrow, hopefully one of lesser magnitude than retired Lieutenant-Colonel Nandasena receives when he addresses the UN a little later today (Tuesday). Well it’s almost midnight here in Lanka, but New York time is different, isn’t it?

        • 5
          0

          Dear NV,
          .
          I posted the Wikipedia entry for the Manike song three days ago, and I’m surprised that nobody came up with this Wikipedia entry on the singer. I’m glad that I held back a few days because our spontaneous enjoyment of the song is good.
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yohani
          .
          This Wikipedia entry has come on only on the 10th September 2021, but the link from the song was always there. You make such an amazing number of comments that it is expecting too much that you should explore all this.
          .
          What this means is, however, that Kamal Gunaratne, Sarath Weerasekera, and our other so-called leaders would have always known Yohani, because her father, too, is a retired Major-General. I have always had an aversion to these military types. However, we shouldn’t be such bigots as to be prejudiced against Yohani because her father was in the Army. I have heard nothing about his being a War-Criminal.
          .
          OTOH, I’ve listened to her talking about her education, but she may have been sufficiently conscious of the negative views of many about the Defence University for her not to mention which University she was at.
          .
          Let me see how many cotton on to all that.

          • 7
            0

            Sinhala_Man

            Thanks for the info.
            She talented with fine voice.
            Good that she is exposed to international music audiences, instead not confining to 15 million of domestic fans.

            I learn that she has a substantial following in north/south India hence she should develop Indian market.


            The is danger, bankrupt treasury functionaries might be tempted to tax on her popularity.
            Please note Tamils/Sinhalese can’t stand successful talented people.

            I wish her well.

    • 9
      1

      Dr. W.A Wijewardena

      Shouldn’t SLPP, Wimal, Champika, Gota, Mahinda, Namal, Sarath Weerasekera, Kamala Gunaratne ……………Karaka Council, Sangha, …………… state functionaries, get together and curtail her popularity, because she is creative, popular, well liked, a good popular artist, ……. and tax her foreign earned income, or put a tax on her popularity?

      Gevindu Cumaratunga’s draft constitution should take care of or ban such
      un-Sri Lankan or un Sinhala/Buddhist activities, or the idea of being happy.

      People shouldn’t be happy, people should not make others happy, people should not build bridges across the world, communities, …. mind you this is Sri Lanka.

      Who does he think she is?
      The only internationally popular person was Siri Mao.
      How can SJ allow this to happen?

    • 7
      0

      Rajash;
      :
      That Amitah Bachan dancing video was a fake made by an old film.
      .
      I thought AB s role is now replaced by Shah Rukh Khan. AB was popoular among the older generations.
      Anyways, this reminded me that film ” Abhiman” which was the first ever film I had the chance to watch in a srilanken cinema in early 80ties.
      Menike Mage Hithe song proved the world that srilanken youth are talented. Only that ballige puthas as Politicians ruin their bright future. This nation regardless of their religion, race and other barriers are filled with lots of talented youth… unfortunately, Rajapakshe mafia stand on their way. This is more than the threat before nation by a 30- year old long civil war.

  • 5
    0

    I love her rendition of the song Pehla Nasha / Penena Nisa (පෙනෙනා නිසා) best.

    • 4
      0

      Dear RTF,
      .
      I agree that she has tremendous appeal; however, can you think of an explanation for this singer’s number of “hits” being so low?
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-Elh4ywfpA&list=RDMM&index=2
      .
      Only 14,602 views, although this has been on since 2 Jul 2019. This, too, is lovely singing. And this singer, whom I know nothing of personally, is brilliant in other fields, too:
      .
      https://www.res.cmb.ac.lk/physiology/nilanka.anjalee.wickramasinghe/
      .
      That’s from 2018. She may well have advanced her academic career considerably since then. with young people like this around, one feels that we harbour hope for the future.
      .
      Btw, RTF. The time in Lanka now is 8.30 am. I’ve heard nothing yet of Gota’s address to the UN. You’re in Pennsylvania, aren’t you? What sort of reception has Gota received there? I saw something about Mahinda’s trip to Italy being a disaster, but I think that the UN address is more significant.

      • 6
        0

        S.M,
        Yes, that singer too is young like Yohani, but the song is very Sinhala -structured and wouldn’t appeal to anyone who doesn’t understand Sinhala. Yohani’s song appeals due to its catchy tune, like “Suranganee” and “Kussiamma Sera” which are very popular in South India.

      • 6
        0

        RTF, this is to acknowledge how muddled I sometimes get. Here’s Gota’s banal speech, to a half-empty auditorium, which I was expecting a whole day earlier than it was scheduled:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/president-gotabaya-rajapaksas-full-speech-to-the-un-general-assembly/.
        He seemed to think that he was addressing an audience of his dumb subjects; few would have been impressed with the claims he was making. I’m sure that we’ll see an analysis of it tomorrow.
        .
        As for Yohani’s song, I think that we must learn to enjoy the little things in life without digging too deep, although that is what I intend doing tomorrow. Punchi Point is expecting too much from every “punchi” thing that he sees and hears, but he may be right at another level. There is a one hour version of the song; that may prove to be too much of a nice little thing. I’ve not listened to it, so let somebody else comment on that, but I feel that it wouldn’t have the complexity required to stretch it out so long.

  • 10
    1

    Yohani de Silva can be proud of her achievement. Congratulations! I have not learned enough on that side to enjoy that kind of song. But I am not a snob, who only goes on the opposite side of others. I have been staying with golden Oldies from the time I started to enjoy songs, somewhere in 4th or 5th class. Same songs, same nodes, no change. About 20years ago I added Carnatic songs (music). That is the main one now. I don’t know any film tracks song that came out in Tamil in the last 20 years, including the “Kollai Very”

    “Hence, if a politician thinks that his power base is permanent and strong, he is very badly misguided.”
    Yohani may have to try ingeniously to make the fans keep listening to her songs. But politicians know how to make their seats permanent without efforts by making 18A or 20A like dictator laws. If you ask the question that if man is smart or a fool, then the politicians are smart. But, if you question if man is civilized, then the politicians are ugly pigs. Politicians are stalling the human civilization at this contemporary level or even taking it down below. Religious leaders are pouring oil into that fire.

    • 1
      0

      to stop the italics. ……

  • 7
    0

    Congrats to Yohani de Silva. A country which is only known for negativity, here we have a young music talent who is making waves beyond borders. No matter she is world renown or just within South East Asia, the simple fact that many are appreciating her song it self is highly commendable. I came to know of her fame, when my colleague posted the song in Whats App group (hospital doctors group). Just the fact her song has touched many people around the world is admirable.

  • 2
    11


    This is a song without any meaning or proper rhythm – its also too shallow and repetitive – how it became a hit was not because it is a nice song, which it is not, but because of the incident with Amitab Bachchan. This shows how the media can hype some very undeserving stuff to the top. BTW Yohani has other nice songs, like Halmaessa, but this song is not even pleasant to the ear.

    • 12
      1

      Punchi Point
      Punchi Brain
      Punchi Willi

      “This is a song without any meaning or proper rhythm – its also too shallow and repetitive – how it became a hit was not because it is a nice song, which it is not, but because of the incident with Amitab Bachchan. “

      Are you implying the Man Amitab Bachchan has no taste, no style or he is a philistine?

      You don’t like it because the song continues to give immense pleasure to tens of millions of people. What a Duka celebrating moron you are.

      • 6
        0

        Native,
        This version of the Jayamangala Gatha should give folks like PP heart attacks:
        https://youtu.be/I8dmIN46q4Y

        • 7
          0

          old codger

          It is sung in Pali.
          Punchi Point, Punchi Brain, Punchi Willi who quotes history of this island directly from Pali Text of Mahawamsa should be able to translate this Gatha for us, otherwise it is beautifully recited.

          Take care.

      • 7
        0

        Punchi Willi, has no meaning for his own life. What can you expect from him?? Here is a word for Punchi, ANHEDONIA inability to feel any pleasure in normally pleasurable activities. In short, inability to feel happy. Feel poor for significant other.

    • 11
      0

      P.P,
      Why don’t you check why no song by the many Visharadas who rule the cultural roost here have never made it this big? The truth is that “Sinhala music” doesn’t, and never did exist. Buddhist texts specifically discourage music. In that you have good friends in the Taliban.
      What is presented as mainstream Sinhala music was invented in the last century and is based on Indian traditions. The most popular Sri Lankan music in India is baila, which of course kultur vultures condemn as “shallow and repetitive”. I can guess that your grouse with Yohani is that she sings in Tamil, Hindi, English, and other languages too.

      • 5
        0

        old codger

        Punchi Point, Eagle Blind Eye, Wimal Weerawansa, soman, …………… Champika, …. Champa believe Early Sinhala Movie Music Composers H.R. Padmanabha Shastri, Narayana Aiyer and Muttuswamy Master were all full Aryan blooded Sinhalese.

        Sundaram Pillai Madhuranayagam an industrialist from Madurai was an early Sinhala film producer, he was a Madurai Sinhalese.

  • 10
    0

    My opinion differs. Who WROTE this song? Who put those “WORDS” into a “Melody”? Who were the musicians in the “Orchestra”? Who “SANG” this song first? Are we to “FORGET” all those who labored so hard to bring a “Melodious” song and singing to keep us entertained?

    This “Jubilation” reminds me of “Gota’s War” that “6.9 million” “TRUMPED” up a candidate to Presidential victory.

    PS. No “Fun” meant on Yohani. Well done and Congratulations Yohani!

  • 9
    0

    Great Dr. W.A Wijewardena has tackled the business of monetising on internet traffic with Yohani Diloka de Silva’s unexpected success. There is also the digital marketing aspect to generating the traffic.

    Such a catchy tune. I’ve been listening to it over the past month… A friend in Delhi first sent me the link.
    Both the tune and Yohani as well as Satheeshan have universal appeal and a cool, uncomplicated and innocent vibe transcending the language. But I think the softness of the Sinhala lyrics too lent it self to the success.

    Yohani has done a Tamil-Sinhala hybrid version in which she also raps;
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ihk5Bt61kgM

    Our former CB governor Indrajit Coomarasamy’s half-Sinhalese son Arjun has just released a Sinhala-English version that is beautifully done as well and seems to be trending;
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LKQ7pLaBr4M

    Good stuff kids!

    • 8
      0

      Dear Sugandh,
      .
      I had heard this Sinhala-English version yesterday, but I hadn’t realised that it was this Arjun. I’ve heard much of him, and of his brother, Imran (named after Imran Khan!), although I don’t think that I’ve actually met them. I know that they came up to Bandarawela as kids.
      .
      His grandparents lived the last fifteen years of their lives about 500 meters from me. I spent countless hours talking to Chandrakeerthi de Fonseka. He used to read Greek! I had a couple of longish chats with Indrajit, but it was was Arjun’s mother, Tara who used to come up more often. Tara has a PhD in sociology but never worked because the two boys were being home-schooled (apart from attending a school, perhaps). All sorts of choices have to be made!
      .
      Tara had much of her education in the Sinhalese Medium, but her mother, who was into music was from Jaffna. Her eyesight, unfortunately was poor. I owe much to them.

      • 6
        0

        Dear Sinhala_Man:
        These young Lankans are giving us hope for a better Lanka!

        • 2
          0

          Sugandh,
          .
          We discuss youth frequently. For once it may be on-topic to discuss some of the great music less listened to in Lanka today, but still going strong!
          .
          A century ago, if you wanted to have music you had to make it yourself, and that was healthy in many ways. But listening to the highly skilled was the preserve of a minuscule section of society. By the time I was born there were gramophones, but we had no electricity. Now there’s all this music on Youtube. What came between?
          .
          I discovered “serious” western classical music when I was a teenager, and I used to walk long distances on these hills to listen to symphonies on gramophones. When schooling in Mt Lavinia (my father’s death upset me so much that I stopped studying), I used to go to the American Center at Galle Face Court. The first time I heard the Beethoven Ninth Symphony it was over headphones there. They had long-playing records there, but you won’t be surprised to hear that there were very few as eccentric as me.
          .
          Let me move the other parts of this comment to the very bottom of the pile.

        • 0
          0

          Availability of Music and other horizon-broadening activities
          .
          PART ONE
          .
          The Colombo Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Earle de Fonseka used to perform regularly in the CMS Ladies’ College Hall, Flower Road. I attended a dozen concerts, only sometimes accompanied by a friend. I remember Schubert’s 5th Symphony clearly, and a cello concerto by Boccherini. I also remember a film of Tschaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet being shown by the Russian Embassy, and a film of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet was commercially screened at the the Regal Cinema.
          .
          There were some programmes on local radio, and I used to listen to the BBC; I was on their listener panel for many years. There were so few of us that we didn’t have to pay. The questionnaires posted to us from London had saes with Ceylon stamps on them. This is something that I have stressed even yesterday; never imagine that there were “good old days” when everybody used English, until nasty SWRDB came along and dragged standards down. See what I have told cugan here:
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mmda-rhetoric-pretensions/

        • 2
          0

          PART TWO
          .
          The vast majority of Lankans had no English.
          .
          Most English users listened to Mallaiyuran’s Golden Oldies, I guess, and also those were the days of the Beatles. I guess I was an odd guy then, and now – but the joys of “Classical Music” – so called by most (even at that time I was insisting that Schubert be referred to as Romantic) have lasted with even greater joys generated in old age.
          .
          But Opera, Sugandh? Impossible to fathom, and even now it is not often that I try to follow one. However, this is where Arjun’s grandparents came in. By 1990, there were VHS video cassette recorders developed by the Japanese Victor Company (JVC). That craze didn’t last long. They attracted fungus in a way that that audio cassettes did not. Arjun’s Fonseka grandparents did have VHS cassettes of some operas; I remember Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s Figaro.
          .
          Most people know how technology progressed from there, but some may not realise the vast resources now available on Youtube.

        • 1
          1

          PART THREE
          .
          Youtube as a medium
          , played on mobile phones, has become very popular. However, few realise that after some casual consultation with a nerd, a used desktop with a largish monitor could be got much cheaper, and now internet data for Youtube only can be obtained very cheap. But do not pay for data given in such a way that it cannot be used.
          .

          I needn’t tell readers about the most popular websites and the mobile devices, but there is an incredible array of Classical Music. That Beethoven 9th. There are four recordings by Furtwängler alone, although he died in 1954. Marvellous recordings, I now realise, but don’t start with those. They have no video. Download concertos, and play on the huge TV screens with woofer-speakers which are relatively cheap, provided one doesn’t get caught to the craze to have “the best.” Start using, but keep checking what new offers are coming, and keeping an eye open for the dangers of commercialisation. Readers of CT are aware of how paywalls / advertising are creeping in. Read the comments below Youtubes. It’s clear that in many countries advertising is creeping, even into the middle of a symphony!

        • 0
          0

          PART FOUR
          .
          One other
          important tip: computer Office Packages. There’s absolutely no need to pay annually for Office 365. Both Open Office, and the newer and better LibreOffice, are every bit as good and are absolutely free. With the country being short of US Dollars, that’s a place where we could save huge amounts of money.
          .
          Are there great young performers of all this “old” music? Yes, plenty. I’ll try to indicate: please try to share with children. Never force it on them – judge for yourself how receptive they are, if I give you some.
          .
          If adults with a little education but much humility and patience spend time with children much can be learnt, provided we stop comparing with other children and stop being obsessed with examinations. I know, because I have two grand-daughters aged eight and six. Formal mathematics, physics and chemistry can come later – this is the time for music, dancing and non-competitive sports. And languages, upto four will easily be acquired if the kids receive exposure. Later it’s difficult. I have only two languages.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

  • 6
    0

    At least lets accept, Yohani is a much able entrepreneur than Cabraaaal .

    • 4
      0

      Chiv,
      Much better to look at too.

  • 10
    0

    Congratulations to Yohani ……. it’s a nice tune and a very well made video.

    There is another Lankan girl who achieved fame with innovative music …… M.I.A. (Mathangi Arulpragasam)

    • 5
      0

      Nimal,
      “There is another Lankan girl who achieved fame “
      Shhhh!! You might provoke Eagle to put in his two cents worth.

    • 6
      0

      /b>nimal,
      .
      Good to see you returning here.
      .
      Soon after Sirisena won the Presidency, there was this 13-minute interview with M.I.A.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmbhjfCU8bY&t=41s
      .
      It received a hostile reception, but not from me. I wrote a very long comment; on my computer it says it is the top comment, but is it only on mine?
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.I.A._(rapper)
      .
      That’s a very long entry. She’d had a harrowing childhood. All this is necessary reading and listening before we can map our future.

  • 0
    5

    lol

    I dont know if discussion of internet sensations and clicks is a good topic to a site full of Rajapaksa haters who have one foot in the grave. leelege malli cannot vomit a multi part discourse on the topic I am sure.

    But my understanding is that the popularity is mostly in the indian sub continenant, not in east asia or europe. in fact it was one of my indian friends who asked me who this girl was and the meaning of the words.

    The world is such a different place these days. in our times only western artists could really be breakthrough artists. Now you can see that Kpop artists are taking top billing and replacing a lot of the top European and Spanish stars

    But even if it is only in the subcontinent it is still a great achievement given a quarter of the world’s population lives there and no other artist from Sri Lanka has ever broken through in this manner. I think she is managed by some good company. I especially loved the song she sings about her father. The fear she had of him never returning. Even though I cannot relate it brought a tear to my eye.

    • 4
      0

      a14455

      “The world is such a different place these days. in our times only western artists could really be breakthrough artists. “

      In your times Gunfight at the O.K. Corral hadn’t taken place which means it was a long, long, long time ago.

    • 6
      0

      a14455 / September 24, 2021

      DIMWIT,
      like or not believe or not, Rajapakshe haters have won it as of today.
      :
      Just waked up dog, and let that good through your head the sake of FUTURE generation.
      RAJAAKSHES looted the last coin of the people of this country. THEY are not brought up in that CAVE… is becoming clear. People at large, secretely wish MR and anyone in that family be punished by DIVINE forces and leave the nation finally in peace. Now the fight is …. that the bugger et al has manipulated gullble mind set of this country so that they could live up their propesities until their last moments. The very same politics was the case with ZIMBABWIAN MUGABE….. today, that nation hates him more than they did while him being alive. that will be the same for srilanken if the current men would continue their MLECHCHA politics on and on.

  • 4
    0

    a14455

    “The world is such a different place these days. in our times only western artists could really be breakthrough artists. “

    In your times Gunfight at the O.K. Corral hadn’t taken place which means it was a long, long, long time ago.

  • 1
    6

    Tamils do not know how to even enjoy or appreciate a song without insulting and putting down the Sinhalese. Who cares about what the Tamils say about Sinhalese music or about the Sinhalese for that matter? With this Sinhalese song becoming an international hit, reaching all corners of the world with over 120 million in the international audience, Tamils are at a loss. Their hatred and ethnic jealousy towards the Sinhalese are eating them inside out.
     
    When a person comments about why a hit-song is not an extraordinarily nice song, instead of discussing the song, they are talking all sorts of nonsense about the commentator and coming down with their usual hate-speech, name-calling abusive comments. I usually do not read comments by the notorious of the worst name-callers and anti-Sinhalese hate-speech trolls, even if they are replies to my own comments, because name-callers do not have anything worthwhile to say. They do not even know that this song has existed for over a year, before Yohani sang it. They cannot explain why if the song itself is such an extraordinarily nice song, it didn’t become an international hit when it was first released many months before Yohani sang it?

    • 1
      6

      They do not know that this Sinhalese song was becoming an international hit, so they didn’t get enough time beforehand to take to the roads with defaming slogans against the song, the Sinhalese and Srilanka, and the singer who is an army general’s daughter (all Srilankan army are “war-criminals” while our army is “Rapist army” according to Tamils), threaten or write to artists or celebrities like Bachchans asking them not to like or promote the song and do their well-known dirty Tamils tricks, like the ones they pull at cricket matches abroad or like the stunts Tamils pulled when the Indian film awards were set to happen in Srilanka. Now since the song and Yohani have become too big, Tamils know they cannot do any of their anti-Sinhalese propaganda against it or Yohani, and that if they try to pull their usual anti-Sinhalese propaganda stunts, that it will backfire against them. Worst of all for the Tamils, is that people from all over the world are trying to sing the song in Sinhalese and are wondering what this beautiful language is – this must be the worst nightmare for the Tamils. Poor Tamils, they are totally at a loss….

      • 5
        0

        Dear Punchi Point,
        .
        I’m sorry to see that you have lost your cool; I must point out that the following who have commented are “Sinhalese”: old codger, nimal fernando, leelagemalli, Sugandh, myself and “a14455”. Even “Native Vedda” and Ramona TF are in a sense Sinhalese – certainly they are not “Tamil”. The others are”Tamils”. However, I think it true to say that we are all trying to transcend such ethnic identities, and respond as humans.
        .
        Note that I had known nothing of the song until Dr Wijewardena told us about it. I listened and within minutes realised that Yohani’s father had been in the army, and that Yohani herself had attended the Defence University for her first degree. However, I didn’t reveal that, although I said that there was more that I would say. Why? Because I know that many people react negatively to the armed forces. So do I. However, I have added that not every person in the forces is a bad person.
        .
        Does that imply that many in the forces are bad? Yes, that is what almost the whole world says. However, please note that I have gone out of my way to state that such a view is over-simplification. When I made my “revelations” have they changed their views? No.

        • 6
          0

          Dear, dear, me! That too jumped into being “a completed comment”. It’s a bit too long, but I hope that it is allowed in. I’m being serious here, and mean well. How do I now regard you?
          .
          I used to be puzzled by you, but now I regard you as a very honest and sincere man, but one who is easily provoked into taking a hostile stance. I feel that others seeing these exchanges will also now change their opinions to feel that way. In other words, I think that they will begin to respect you, although only a few will say so.
          .
          So, please don’t get into a huff. Try to see things from the point of view of others. You have made a good point about there being more serious music, but I think it best not to make value judgements about them. Their value depends on the mood of the listener.
          .
          Be happy, and try to spread happiness around you!
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela aka “Sinhala_Man” (NIC 483111444V)
          .
          P.S. Now I find that a comment that I wrote out before this is in another tab. I will submit that in some other appropriate place.

          • 1
            9

            A troll is a troll regardless of ethnicity. You are a different kind of a troll – please spare me of your ideas about the Tamils, there’s nothing you can teach me about the Tamils or the Sinhalese. BTW I never said that I was man and nobody here knows who I am – for all you know I could be a Tamil woman. Who ever I am does not matter, but anybody with the slightest love for the island we are all fighting for will not insult it by insulting the Sinhalese, because this island produced the Sinhalese people. Anybody who claims to love this island, cannot hate or hurt the Sinhalese. We don’T need any putting downs, name-calling and insulting others, but this is the only way the trolls here know communicate. What chances do we ever have to bring peace to this country, when even in a site where communication is through writing becomes abusive?

            • 0
              9

              Sites like this, where such a lot of hate and hate speech is circulated is not healthy for societies. I have read and studied this phenomenon and many western countries do not even allow anonymous comments anymore. I read that after the attack in Norway some 10 years back, when a Norwegian bombed some government buildings and drove to a small island and shot dead some 100 or so people in the one and only terrorist attack there, many of the media sites stopped allowing anonymous comments, and even forums, because the man behind that attack had been radicalized due to cultivating and escalating hate through forum discussions. People start thinking what they read and write themselves in sites like this, is the reality, while reality is quite different. The trolls here have totally misunderstood what discuss, dialogue, compromise, correct and peaceful approach, respectability, honesty etc is. All these things are needed to communicate and exchange ideas, especially to find solutions to any problem, be it an intense ethnic conflict, or solving scientific problems.

            • 0
              9

              Insulting the Sinhalese is not going to exalt the Tamils. There will be weak Sinhalese who will resort to insulting the Tamils and the spiral of hate and conflict goes on and on. Even for very down to earth strong characters, some of the hate speech in this site is really too much. As for me, I just have stopped reading comments from certain people here, because I simply cannot handle the hate speech, name-calling and absurd lies in them, and I don’t come here as often as before, because of the hate speech and trolling. This year, I have actually not been here much at all. I think the problem in this country can be seen clearly from how the comment section in this article developed – the article is totally not about Tamils or for that matter Sinhalese. Its about a song and the mechanisms about how a song can get to be a hit and the economics about the music industry and so forth – how comments on even such an article end up being a fight about Sinhalese vs Tamils, and even our military show the gravity of the problem.

    • 8
      0

      PP,
      How many Tamils have trashed Yohani? But you have :”This is a song without any meaning or proper rhythm – its also too shallow and repetitive – how it became a hit was not because it is a nice song, which it is not, “
      Now you’re saying that the song became popular too fast for the trolls.
      Looks like you’re a troll yourself.
      As to anonymous comments, we don’t see your own name anywhere. Please stop preaching if you don’t follow your own “rules”.

      • 1
        0

        Dear old codger,
        .
        Great. Six truths are told by you within 84 words.
        .
        As you know, I have no craving to know who you are. You’re so clear in your thinking, so rational in its expression.
        .
        I’m not terribly bothered by PP and a14455, either. They’re safe from us – beneath our contempt.

      • 3
        0

        PP,
        The trouble with fake patriots, most of whom claim to be “Sinhala Buddhists” is that they are either unaware or pretend to be unaware of their real history. They are prepared to lie and present bogus links to support their lies. When they get caught lying, they pretend innocence. These people aren’t really educated, though there are many honourable SB’s who are. They are living in a fake glorious past which never existed, and aren’t willing to move into the reality of a failed bankrupt state brought about by themselves.

  • 1
    7

    in a sense, I see all the people here are pussyfooting around who Yohani’s father is . I know that almost all here know it is Maj Gen Prasanna de Silva. who was one of those true original heroes of this country? But I think mentioning him would be a disservice to this talented young girl. I think they can both stand on their own two feet without the other and be stars on their own . Sometimes some families are just that lucky.

  • 4
    0

    Dear anonymous a14455 and Punchi Point,
    .
    You’re being hypersensitive here. Very few of those who read this article would have got to know about Major General de Silva. I know only his name.
    .
    On CT, most articles are read only on the first two days. I always think before writing. I habitually look at what Dr Wijewardena writes. How do I know him? It got explained in comments on his last article:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-maligned-lakshman-shock-patient-will-die-unless-the-new-governor-diffuses-it-forthwith/
    .
    Forty-four comments there. There are those exchanges that I had with “deepthi silva”, starting with the fourth comment, at the very top. It picks up again at the very bottom, and ends happily. Please look, and if you fear that I have “insulted” Dr Wijewardena, write to him – his email address is there.
    .
    Yohani has attained fame, and there is a Wikipedia article on her. How did it get there? No problem; it is only people who are outstanding who have entries of that sort made. So let’s drop that line of argument.
    .
    There has been nothing but sincere praise for Yohani, and my comments were so timed as to ensure that such praise would be forthcoming.

  • 5
    0

    Dear sensitive readers over to you. I dont care about any idiots like EE, SOMA, a14455, Abhaya or the like mad dogs that would add anything and everything promoting criminals in our god punished country. Unfortunately, these dogs the way they are caught by RAJAPAKSHE MANIA is no different to that have been caught by malign cancers.
    .
    Yohani s COVER song success proved us well the srilankens that we could achieve lot more for the future of our youth, if we would ameliorate our relations with indians than the chinese. This is also the secret of indian markets to be able to stand by their own whatever products come out of them. India and China would not want to rely on foreign markets. They can survive if their products could be targeted to their locals.

    This is what Mr Wickramasinghe focused on. Our people take some more time to realizez it, with the ground situation being made by Rajapakshe facists fooling the last person of the society for their power greedy crime politics. RW reiterated that we should focus on the triangle of south asia for our market products. Dr Harsha de Silva was also very right in that regard. This reminds me again and again, …. that their focus on Kerala and several other states in india together with srilanken market as the consumer market for us. Now with this, though a cover song, becoming one of the favourites of the indians, the message is even better transported as an x ray traverses through materie.

  • 1
    3

    I thought Id reply but then saw who had responded . Leela ChinkalaMan and the resident idiot Native something.

    Timeto catch up on my sleep

  • 1
    0

    It looks as though we’ve got over the surly interjections from the anonymous duo, a14455 and Punchi Point, we can safely state that all Lankans rejoice that Yohani has produced this song. Lo, and behold, this afternoon my eight-year old grand-daughter who is in Malaysia popped up on my mobile phone (via WhatsApp) singing this song.
    .
    However, I was going along with what the said Punchi Point was saying and telling readers that given current technology it has become possible for us to get absorbed in more serious music which can bring us joy when we crave something more permanent and substantial. Thinking of our country, in 1948 appreciation of such music was the preserve of a privileged elite minority. I had focussed on Beethoven, who was a democrat in outlook if ever there was one. However, life is never as simple as that, and I was hoping that someone would come up with the criticisms of Wilhelm Furtwängler which dogged him at the time that he made that slowest recording of Beethoven’s Ninth.

  • 1
    0

    CONTINUING
    .
    It was with good reason.
    All get exploited by politicians. Hitler wished to cash in on Beethoven’s greatness, although the latter would have vehemently denounced what the Nazis were doing. Many musicians left Germany; two great conductors stayed on, Furtwängler and the younger Herbert von Karajan. Although Karajan joined the Nazi Party, Furtwängler did not. However, criticism of him is justified, because he did perform for the Nazis. For instance, in early 1942, Furtwängler conducted the 9th Symphony in a performance to celebrate the führer’s birthday; even when he conducted the earliest of the performances now on Youtube, later in 1942, in Vienna, Hitler was in the audience.
    .
    On the other hand, Furtwängler helped save the lives of Jewish musicians, etc. Please read up and make up your minds about the extent to which deliberate blinding of oneself to the evil around you is morally culpable.
    .
    Never mind. The point I was making was that hundreds of recordings have been made of this demanding symphony and there may be even fifty currently available on Youtube. More affordably available at any other time in history – if you care to devote some time to it.

  • 1
    0

    The Internet holds out many possibilities for us to learn what would otherwise be impossible. Recently, I was enthralled by the study of a youngish pianist, Evgeny Kissin. Well at 49, he’s much younger than I am! And he’s had only one music teacher, Anna Pavlovna Kantor, from the time he was a toddler, until she died only last year aged 98. The Wikipedia, without doubt is useful to fall back on, but to really get into the subject of Kissin’s “languages” one has to search elsewhere:
    .
    http://andrewsolomon.com/articles/questions-of-genius/
    .
    His primary language is that of the piano, but he also writes poetry – in languages that I know nothing of. Here he is speaking quietly in Russian, but one can follow from the English subtitles and understand a man whose culture is totally different from ours:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB5qG-vs_QQ
    .
    They are talking about a music festival in Switzerland.
    .
    Without doubt there are dangers in globalisation, but it’s up to us to make it work.

  • 1
    0

    CONCLUDING
    .
    Here’s another pianist
    from a totally different background, who has got lots of young people flocking to concerts, playing the most difficult of Beethoven’s piano works:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAwRRLDpBVM
    .
    Not what you expected to see at first, but YuJa Wang is clearly very serious about her music. Another infant prodigy, born in Beijing. She knew no English up to the age of ten.
    .
    How all this relates to Yohani’s song is not for me to attempt, but I hope that somebody works on it and builds on what we know about her success in reaching out to those speaking other languages than ours. I have already seen videos of her discussing her work; I hope that whatever I have written persuades somebody younger to attempt the bridging of gaps within the “Greater India” that we are part of, without allowing narrow politics to dominate our thinking.

    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela, Sri Lanka, aka Sinhala_Man

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