If you are in Sri Lanka during January then you are in for an additional treat, because honestly, being in Sri Lanka is a treat within itself. However, in Jan you can experience the Fairway Galle Literary Festival (FGLF) held in Galle each year. It can truly lay claim to being ‘one of the most anticipated literary events in south east Asia for both authors and literary enthusiasts around the world’. This year, 2019, marks the festival’s 10-year anniversary since inception in 2007, which includes a three-year hiatus.
A meeting of literary minded people within the setting of Sri Lanka’s historic Dutch Galle Fort is an unbeatable combination. The Dutch Fort is a location of old-world charm with cafes, paved walkways, fortified stone walls that over look the ocean, historic buildings and all of this while still being a functioning town. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Perfectly described by Fiona Shaw, a festival attendee, as “…it uses one of the most beautiful places on the planet to make a marketplace of thought and an oasis of feeling”, FGLF is a meeting spot for lovers of literature in a breath-taking setting.
Spanning a few days, the festival plays host to numerous events held throughout the period where people can gather to listen to, interact and watch artists of calibre such as authors, poets, journalists, theatre, television and film artists, activities, editors, artists, architects, musicians and composers and choirs.
This year, the festival is being held from Jan 16th to the 20th and is no exception with participants heralding from a variety of literary fields offering visitors the opportunity to absorb their knowledge and expertise. The events are held mostly within the Fort area with a few held in the near vicinity. There are free programs as well as those that require prior tickets.
There are children’s programs organized for the festival days as well, where children are categorized in age groups with interesting and interactive activities planned accordingly.
Basically, four days of pure literary bliss, where engaging minds connect and share knowledge, experiences and thoughts, in a relaxed tropical atmosphere. Participants this year include Sir David Hare, who is a celebrated contemporary playwright, with over 30 plays and 25 screenplays for film and television to his name and well-know authors such as Romesh Gunesekera and Anothony Horowitz among a host of other renowned participants.
It is a festival that deserves its repute and anticipation, providing a vibe of unity and discussion and creativity in a sunny historic setting that leaves guests feeling both fulfilled emotionally and intellectual while craving for more, with the next year’s event already marked on the calendars.
Visit Sri Lanka in January and be part of this popular lit festival and be enriched by the experience.