Growing Ineffectiveness of Traditional Forms of Communication (Media) in the Sustainable Development of Sri Lanka: The Spread of New Media Among the Younger Generation

7 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2010

See all articles by Ajantha Hapuarachchi

Ajantha Hapuarachchi

Journalism Unit, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka


This study examines how rural youth interact with traditional and mainstream media to exchange development messages. Also, it looks at their knowledge of the usage of traditional media. In traditional media, the oral tradition included verbal arts or expressive literature which consisted of forms of utterances spoken, sung and voiced. Some of them include songs, tales, poetry, ballads, anecdotes, rhymes, proverbs and elaborate epics. Furthermore, material culture can be seen in traditional motifs, architectural design, clothes, fashions in various human groups. Also, these forms of traditional media can be seen in social folk customs, followed at birth, marriage, death or annual celebrations, festivals, fairs, ritual and ceremonial gatherings, market occasions and meeting at villages. The performing arts such as traditional music masquerades, dance and drama are functions where these forms can be seen. In this study, the main purpose is to understand how rural youth are connected through these traditional media and how their family members work together with them. The research problem is to find out whether the Sri Lankan traditional media messages contribute to the development of the rural masses and to find the nature of the interaction between the two. To achieve this objective, this study used the new entrants of the faculty of Arts in the University of Colombo as the sample. This research used a random sample method for the selection of the sample that included 200 students in their first year from rural areas, who have come to the university of Colombo from all over the country. For this research, a questionnaire was used to collect data. The experiment was conducted from June 9th until December 31st 2008 covering one entire semester. It was found out that the students were aware of the traditional communication media that had worked as a tool kit to distribute messages. Yet, those forms were used only for entertainment. Most of the students had seen those forms on television. Soon after entering to the University of Colombo, these students’ attitudes changed radically. At the end of first semester, 85% of them used mobile phones. After one year at the university, many of them were used to new media.

Keywords: Bali, Gelkavi, Kohomba Kankariya, Nurthi, Parukavi, Thovil, Traditional

JEL Classification: D7

Suggested Citation

Hapuarachchi, Ajantha, Growing Ineffectiveness of Traditional Forms of Communication (Media) in the Sustainable Development of Sri Lanka: The Spread of New Media Among the Younger Generation. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 57-63, 2010, Available at SSRN:

Ajantha Hapuarachchi (Contact Author)

Journalism Unit, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka ( email )

Sri Lanka

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