17 October, 2021

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Manikes And Suranganies Mesmerizing The World!

By Rochana Jayasinghe

Rochana Jayasinghe

It has been wonderfully exciting to witness all the love and warmth pouring towards Yohani de Silva following her cover of Satheeshan Rathnayake’s Manike Mage Hithe written by Dulan ARX and produced by Chamath Sangeeth. Within a span of a few weeks, there were hundreds of vocal and instrumental covers from India and many other parts all over the world, throwing light on Sri Lanka’s place on the musical map. In the context of the huge crowds Yohani has amassed in India and the prolific success she is having there as we speak, it would be apt to look back on the other Sri Lankan singing sensation that made India go crazy.

Yohani de Silva

Suranganie is a staple Sri Lankan wedding and trip song. Little do many know that it also set the precedent for several songs in India – today, one would find a number of renditions of Suranganie in India, especially in Tamil, Konkani, Hindi and Marathi. If one were to hear any one of these versions, it would be natural for them to assume that the Sinhala song came after the Indian version(s) since that has been the “natural” order of things. In fact, many believe that it is the Konkani version which is the original. Yet Suranganie was the one Sinhala song that came first.

A.E. Manoharan

Suranganie was released in 1972 by A.E. Manoharan, actor and pop singer, who had just been appointed a Producer for Dramas in the commercial section of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. With the song gaining immediate popularity, Manoharan also released a bilingual Sinhala and Tamil version with a Surya Record label, which was broadcast on Ceylon Radio’s international radio and Indian air time – it did not take long for the craze to start in Tamil Nadu. The song was catchy and very quickly became the “go-to” song of many school-going and university youth of Chennai who then took it to other parts of India. The song and its translated versions went on to feature in many films since then, the first being Avar Enakke Sontham where director Ilayaraja’s Tamil version (with the Sinhala refrain) was sung by Malaysia Vasudevan and Renuka. Another significant example is Suraangani Kamaal Karegi sung by Asha Bhosle in the Hindi film Parmaatma (1978).

In 2008, Sri Lankan artiste Dinesh Kanagarathnam made a remake of Suranganie in Sinhala and Tamil for his album Thamila. Famed South Indian music director Vijay Antony in turn, collaborated with Dinesh and made a remix of it for in the film TN-07-AL-4777 released that same year. The song is titled Aathichudi and retains certain Sinhala words and phrases from the original (remake) of Suranganie by Dinesh.

Suranganie has certainly gone a long way.

In 1973, A.E Manoharan, who sang this groundbreaking song that set a milestone in Sri Lankan music, was awarded the title “Pop Chakravarthi” by Minister Chelliah Kumarasuriar in Jaffna. From 1975 to 1976, he performed in a concert series across Sri Lanka, India, and even in the UK, Europe, Canada, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia where he sang, apart from Surangani, Sinhala and Tamil songs like Chuda Manike and Pattu Mamiye. His insurmountable popularity and subsequent work in the South Indian film industry earned him the fond nickname “Ceylon Manohar”.

Yohani has, in the footsteps of A.E. Manoharan, shaken the Indian music loving masses, and is opening avenues for Sri Lankan music and its artistes to be noticed world over. With the power and ubiquity of social media, this might truly bring about more and more recognition and love for Sri Lankan music.

I would also like make two notable mentions at this point – two other Sri Lankan persons who have achieved such landmark popularity in the region, are Sanath Jayasuriya and Sabeetha Perera.

Jayasuriya for many years, tormented Indian cricket – yet, he was also the cricketer that India loved the most, and yearned to have for themselves. His popularity in India was such that many called it the “cult of Sanath Jayasuriya”.

Sabeetha Perera’s acting in 17 Pakistani films earned her wide reputation in the region, with her winning the Best Actress Award for the film Nadiya at the Alsakar Film Festival in Pakistan, and also the Most Popular Actress Award for her role in Bobby.

As Yohani carves her mark in Indian music and its fandom, one can only imagine the future extent and scope of Manike’s journey around the world. Let’s wish Yohani and Sri Lankan entertainment all the very best!

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Latest comments

  • 12
    2

    Yes, it is like a tsunami wave. Yohani s voice is being welcome by any age group. However, not a single congratulary staments publicly made by SRILANKEN political leadership yet.
    Why is that ? If this would have been case, if ROCHET chichie would have taken part in an radio interview or anything like that ?
    Why is this malicious nature of leadership ? People over to you, please realize the TRUE nature of criminals in power.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lepOmUH6Sbc

    • 5
      0

      Dear LM: A ruling party politician has already proposed that the Parliament must award an “Honor” to Yohani. Now the “Circus” begins. “WHO” owns “Yohani? Who knows, even Yohani could be appointed an “Ambassador” to a foreign country like the appointment of Neela Wickramasinghe and Rohana Beddage, both representing the “Kala Kawaya” of the “Viyathmaga” at the last Presidential and Parliamentary elections and “Responsible” for installing the present “Phantams” to rule the country. I Hope Yohani will not fall a “PREY”.

      • 4
        0

        But Bro, why did it take that long ?
        .
        All others in neigbouring country flew with their gifts ……. and our criminals took that long to priase their own citizen ?
        .
        Yohani s name is not smeared with ASUCHI, as is the case with Rajapakshes. Today, the surname Rajapakshes – is similar to that of their Zimbabwian counterpart- Mugabe…

        Gone were the days, we heard of good kind of politicians produced by lanka matha.

      • 3
        0

        But all these occure a man formerly known to be a powerful and well recognized journalist is today as the minister of media. So pathetic. These predators would do anything and everything to ruin even the future of the youth in this country. Whenever I am compelled to think of Medamulana pereththaya s, what comes my mind I’d, cattle theft, high crimes, abduction a, rapes, satakaya around their penises and and 🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

      • 6
        0

        Yohani is intelligent but father is sel proclaimed and branded with a badge “ranawiru”. Nevertheless for hidden reasons, deliberately set delays to issue congratulatory statements???????? This is another sign to reveal the degree of “mlechchathwaya ” in that criminal bunch. Much more to reveal soon. 😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

      • 4
        0

        Dear Simon@

        it was not RULING politician of the virulent bunch, but SJB young MPs questioned until that WICKRAMANAYAKA finally reacted it.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VEo2sk0fDo

        This man, WW, son of premier Wickramanyaka is a joker. He permamently fails to call a spade a spade unlike his own sister who is a medical doctor and working in a hospital in london/UK.

        SLPP politicians are clever to filter ASUCHI and focus on the valuables in favour of them. However, the very same AUDIENCE ( head nodding mercy cows) would not remain as they are today … that is what I feel… but I REALLY dont know their tendencies.

  • 0
    0

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  • 13
    1

    Yohani must focus on her own ascension in the music industry of the world stage. It might even help if she divests herself from her Sri Lankan identity and represent the genre of music she has excelled in. Sri Lanka is not a nation with any gratitude for people who “kadey yanerva” for promoting tourism or anything that the scoundrel political class and unethical industrial class have plans for, at her cost. She must be smart enough to understand which side her bread is buttered on.

    • 6
      0

      L.P,
      Jackie Fernandez took up your suggestion long ago, didn’t she?

  • 9
    8

    Unless it takes off in America its not global. In 2007, A Sri Lankan had a missive hit in the US and UK charts . The first non- American/ European/ White to be nominated for a Grammy .( the world most famous music award show ) She was a sensation from 2007 to 2013 having a child. Her Album was considered as one ten best Albums of the year by Rolling Stone Magazine ( the most iconic of music reviews )
    She Performed at the Super Bowl ( the biggest event in America ) with MADONNA And Nicki Minaj. Jay-Z and Kayne West have rapped to her beats. She also married into the Bromfrom family of Canada,- one of the world richest Families.
    Yohani deserves her success. But have some perspective. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are garbage dumps. Going global means – America into the Rest of the World.

    • 5
      0

      MIA and now Priya Ragu both Sri Lankan born are truly global.

    • 5
      2

      Westham,
      MIA is not quite Sri Lankan to many of the faithful.

      • 5
        1

        MIA is from Australia right ?

        • 4
          0

          She is the daughter of the ex leader and founder of EROS.
          I think she is UK based and her music success took her to USA.

          • 4
            0

            Rajash

            “She is the daughter of the ex leader and founder of EROS.”

            Did/Does EROS have a leader?
            There was an EROS founder named Eliyathamby Ratnasabapathy.
            EROS was proud of being a revolutionary group for never having a leader.

            • 4
              0

              May be he was one of the founder members …I stand to be corrected

        • 1
          3

          No British. Born in Sri Lanka to Jaffna Thamizh parents.

          • 3
            0

            Sorry, she was born in London but the family returned to Jaffna, when she was six months old but again moved to Britain as refugees due to the civil war. Her actual name is Mathangi Maya Arulpragasam

            • 5
              0

              Why then she is called Mia? What does MIA stand for?😉😉😉

              • 3
                0

                Missing In Action. Her father went to Tamil Nadu when she was a child and she never saw him again. ( Something like that )

                • 4
                  0

                  westham

                  When did you become MIA’s biographer or Ghost Writer?

                  • 3
                    0

                    I am merely pointing out Sri Lanka has already produced a famous singer.
                    Personally, I find MIA’s Music terrible. And I think I have decent understanding of Music. But in the 2000’s multi-multiculturalism was taking off and MIA was the first non-white/ black/ westerner to come along. So they promoted her. I used to work in Williamsburg, New York, which is where MIA lived when all this happened. I’ve seen her a couple times with her boy-friend, Benjamin Bronfman. who is a Jewish billionaires son with connections to the Jewish controlled Hollywood. I thought it’s best not to talk to her since Tamil Diaspora children are thought to hate Sinhalese people.

                    • 0
                      0

                      westham,
                      .
                      As a fellow Sinhalese,
                      I greatly honour you.
                      .
                      I think that it was sensible of you not to attempt to talk to MIA twenty years ago, unless you got at her in a quiet, relaxed place.
                      .
                      However, the situation is different now. We, Sinhalese, are loath to confess it, but it is we (especially guys like me who are stuck in Lanka) who are in a precarious position.
                      .
                      .
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yefim_Bronfman
                      .
                      Oh, these American names! A nation of émigrés. That’s an older concert pianist. These are of Russian origin.
                      .
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Bronfman
                      .
                      Above is the “boyfriend” – they never got married. That’s their business, but what’s become of the son? Good we don’t know; he deserves his privacy.
                      .
                      (Something like that)! Only unemployed, and “unemployable” guys like me have thee time to go into all that.
                      .
                      You’re a nice guy!
                      .
                      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

    • 1
      1

      Oh, MIA is fabulous……pity she had to disgrace herself at the Super Bowl, however.

    • 2
      1

      With all due respect, I think you’re the one who needs to get some perspective.

      A) America is not the be all and end all of greatness you seem to think it is. You seem to mentally be either stuck in the 1950s or possessing the same mindset as a die hard Trump supporter in the redneck states who is all about ” ‘Murrica! We the best!”. Lol.

      B) I assume you’re referring to M.I.A. While she is of course extremely successful, her family moved out of Sri Lanka when she was 6 months old. She was never a product OF Sri Lanka. She is simply an English (even her own official pages identify her as an English rapper) singer who has SL origins. Very different from the born and bred in SL Yohani.

  • 0
    4

    Ahh….It’s to do with our Buddhism! See, our masses are culturally egalitarian, and so the tunes come out easily. Manike Mage Hithe has a sweet sounding, sad, faraway tune to it. The singers are also refined looking. Indians, on the other hand become giddy when their masses of all castes interact, and it is not easy for their masses to interact soul-rendering sounds, you see. Sri Lankan must keep the distance. Maybe that’s why our politicians haven’t acknowledged it yet. Maybe (hope not), the US state-dept. is trying to merge the countries through music.

    • 3
      0

      ramona grandma therese fernando

      “It’s to do with our Buddhism! See, our masses are culturally egalitarian,”

      Is that so?
      However your masses are politically and socially Narcissists.

  • 0
    0

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    • 3
      0

      BP thanks for making it short. Get well soon, though hopeless!!!!🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃

  • 1
    4

    You can’t compare Yohani with that cheap hateful woman M.I.A. M.I.A is basically a westerner, foreign to this island, besides being an enemy of the Sinhalese and Srilanka. MIA became popular among the people who understand what she sings, unlike Yohani, who sings in Sinhala and got popular world-wide among people who cannot understand the language the song(s) she is singing in even. Yohani has sung in many languages, including Tamil. I do not think MIA has ever sung in Sinhalese, a people and a language she despises.

    • 2
      1

      Agreed!

    • 4
      0

      This means, Yohani has achieved what all politicians and various journos have hitherto failed to do so.

      Punchi Point, Yohani is 28, but looks 18. Let us hope that she is the future of South Asia. See how many Tamils were enthusiastic about her singing.

      .https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-childs-guide-to-the-behavioural-pattern-behind-menike-mage-hithe/

      You are the only person there who didn’t like “Menike”, you said that it was “shallow and repetitive”. You said that some of her other songs, like “Halmaessa “ were wonderful. But you didn’t notice that “Menike” is the song that people are singing in many languages including Tamil, and Tamil Arjun in London was singing it in English,
      .-
      may be singing it to Mia, who is 46 but looks 30, and is the past of our country that we must put behind us. You can’t expect Mia to like us. See what her ten years in Jaffna was like:

      https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/jun/13/mia-feature-miranda-sawyer

      That has been written eleven years ago; now let us hope that Yohani will visit London and bring about the reconciliation that politicians have failed to.

      God bless SrlLanka!
      .

    • 0
      0

      Dear Punchi Point,
      .
      I know that however consistently one writes, there may appear to be seeming contradictions; however, you are all over the place. Do you accept that you area racist? In this context, you are against all Tamils. I see that LM has already pointed this out.
      .
      I intend giving you, and many others, some of the facts about M.I.A. I know that we can’t be looking at all the stuff that is on the web, especially about a person whom we instinctively dislike. Like you, I don’t like the genre of hip-hop that has brought M.I.A. fame. However, for facts, one can at least check Wikipedia, surely.
      .
      I won’t submit my further observations (to be made later today) as responses to you. I will put them down at the bottom.
      .
      You say that you don’t like “meaningless” songs like “Menike”, which ought logically to be sung by a man, but then are happy with Yohani singing in languages that she doesn’t understand. Knowing how difficult it is to learn a language, I don’t mind that since what is required is that the listener understands.

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