International Folklore Festival

Director: Earl Barthelot

Local: Sri Lanka
Date: 16 – 23 august


Project Rational

Sri Lanka is faced with very severer economic crisis which even struggle to generate foreign currency to import essential items like food, medicine, gas, fuel etc. at the same time the small enterprises built around the tourism is also severely affected due to reduction in the arrival of tourists to Sri Lanka. Therefore Burgher Folk is very much interested in providing small solution to promote tourism and boost to the small enterprises by organizing and conducting the cultural exchange and food festival and sports program in the east with the aim of “rehabilitating the tourism and small enterprises in the Eastern province. This initiative will also provide small contribution to national economic crisis by earning foreign currency from the travellers from overseas by promoting and advertising the International Festival organized in the Eastern Coastal Belt.

Internal Folklore festival aims to strengthen the social relationship and Economic resilience. This project is targeting four main areas in the eastern province namely Trincomalee, Passikudah, Batticaloa and Kalmunai areas. It aims to create space for inclusion; to experience the unique cultures of Tamil, Muslim, Singhalese and the numerically small Burgher community in the eastern province through the cultural dance and music program in all four locations. This will open- up the space for dialog and mutual understanding about each-others’ culture and respect them, further it would be an opportunity for the numerically small Burgher community to re-establish their identity among the other communities. Having the food stall in the festival will also create the opportunity to taste their unique authentic cultural food and provide opportunities for them to start and continue it as ventures. Further it also creates number of networks between the different communities and business people to move forward with co-existence and unity. Sports too will shape the mind of the players from different communities and age groups and create national and international exposure through the established network.


Objective of Project

  • Promote social Identity and understanding.
  • Promote culture-based food business.
  • Promote social cohesion, reconciliation and world peace.


Activity of Focus

Conduct cultural exchange program: to help the community to understand the different cultures and creating platform to strengthen the social cohesion and reconciliation within the multicultural community, folklore groups from all four community such as Tamil, Muslim, Sinhalese, Burgher and international community to perform the cultural dance and music and further six international folklore group will also will be invited for the event to perform their cultural dance and music, which further expand the relationship with the international community and world peace. At the event small entrepreneurs like food processes and craft workers to establish stalls. This act will make opportunities for the community also to taste the different authentic cultural foods and different craft working from the different communities, which will also provide an opportunity for the people to create business linkages across the eastern province as well as with international community.


Sri Lanka is known as the pearl of Indian ocean, where Sinhala, Tamil and Muslims the majority communities and numerically small communities such as Burghers, Kaffirs, Chinese etc. Sri Lankan economy is mostly depended upon the agriculture and tourism based enterprises to attract the foreign currency. Eastern province of Sri Lanka is also very famous for tourism, and there are number of people who have developed their cottage and small enterprise business on tourism sector. Covid 19 pandamic followed by the severer economic drought including fuel shortage worsen the Sri Lankan tourism industry as well as the small enterprises depend on the tourism. Burgher folks is an organization established in 2009, the aim of promoting Portuguese Burgher culture in the eastern province and across the country by linking the Burghers or rather Portuguese in Portugal and other countries. We too have experience in organizing inter country cultural, off-shore program in the past, further it is also undertaking programs to teach musical and cultural performance including the Portuguese Creole and Portuguese languages in the eastern province.


Project description

Project Goal; To re-emphasis the Burgher culture in the Eastern province and create cultural linkages with other countries.

Specific Objective: To re-build the small enterprises and tourism in the Eastern province.

Outcome: Hotels and small enterprises accessed to festival program for regaining tourism business.

Output: 08 cultural and festival events hosted in the eastern province.

Activity 1.1.1: Liaise with relevant officials for inviting dancers and musician from Portugal and Sri Lanka.

Activity 1.1.2: Liaise with relevant provincial and divisional officers in the eastern province to conduct Food, Sports and Cultural festivals.

Activity 1.1.3: Support small enterprises to establish small food stalls around the event venues.

Activity 1.1.4: Setup cultural, open stage performances with music and cultural events.

Activity 1.1.5: support intra province transport for performers.


Project Management

Burgher Folks can take the lead with the support of the Government to organize the festival in number of locations in the East. Identified locations are Trincomalee, Passikudah, Batticaloa and Kalmunai. The Governor of the Eastern Province assured support to liase with the government stakeholders.

Government authorities such as Tourist Board from the Central and Provincial level has to assist with authorization and arrangements to be made by the Burgher Folks.

Burgher Folks can take the initiate to invite the Folk Groups from Europe and the Tourist Board and Foreign Ministry should be willing to assist Burgher Folks by officially recognizing the efforts of Burgher Folks. Government body is expected to issue a letter of appointment to the Burgher Folks to take this project forward and do all the necessary arrangements.