Living a farmer’s life at the Vil Uyana

S ituated among reed beds and paddy fields, over the first man-made lake since the era of Parakramabahu I, among the peace and tranquility of Sigiriya, is what Harper’s Bazaar calls the Best Eco Luxury Hotel in Sri Lanka, Jetwing Vil Uyana. This hotel is an unusual and groundbreaking project of Jetwing Hotels, which has for the first time in the world created a private nature reserve through the construction of a wetland system with lakes and reed beds. The hotel itself is built on a section of land that is used to re-grow paddy with cosy dwellings which have been placed within the paddy fields themselves. The extremely unique aspect of this hotel lies in the fact that a wetland system was introduced into a part of the traditional dry zone creating an excitingly new type of approach to eco-living and the eco-lifestyle.

Harper’s Bazaar described the hotel as a place which offers a “refreshingly intelligent approach to luxury travel” with an “evolved environmental policy”.

 This can be clearly seen in the fact that on Saturday, 14 May there will be a Seeding and Transplanting Ceremony at Jetwing Vil Uyana. Seeding and Transplanting are the two general methods which are used in the planting of crops. In agriculture the concept of seeding (or sowing) is a technique used to plant seeds directly into the ground whereas the term transplanting is a reference to the technique of moving a plant from one location to another. Transplanting uses pre-grown plants, seedlings or vegetatively propagated clones; Paddy is a deep-water crop which needs plenty of water for nearly 2/3rds of its life.

The ceremony at Jetwing Vil Uyana will celebrate the birth and growth of the paddy crop which is symbolic of the livelihood, sustenance and development of millions of people throughout Sri Lanka. Mr. Liyanage, a local expert on paddy cultivation, will be speaking on the subject before the ceremony begins, in order to impress upon guests the importance of the seeding and transplanting. The ceremony itself will commence at 8:00am with the national anthem, the traditional Malpela and the lighting of the oil lamp. The drum beats of the raban and the boiling of milk will also take place as Jetwing Vil Uyana proudly exhibits local customs and traditions that are part and parcel of the farmer’s lifestyle and habits.

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