Tag Archives: National Anthem

What Would Happen If International Cricket Players Knelt During The National Anthem?

by Anura Guruge

The Sri Lanka ODI Team (top) & Indian Test Team (in white).

It is even inconceivable to even think of but we all know what would happen. They would immediately be charged by the ICC of bringing the game into disrepute — heavily fined and suspended. That we know because the ICC is, quite correctly, is ultra-strict about behavior and compliance — and let’s face it, cricket has a 400-year reputation for his gentlemanly-manners, sportsmanship and decorum.

Now PLEASE do NOT get me wrong. I have NOTHING against American sportsman (and to-date, as far as I know, it has all being men) taking the knee during the national anthem. It is there right — and I understand that. But, having bummed around the World I also know the pride and significance of national anthems.

Having the national anthems played ahead of Internationals is NEW in cricket. Definitely post 1980. I actually like it. Very moving.

A few things to PONDER and Chuckle IF you are NOT an American.

There are things that WE (e.g., British, Sri Lankan, Indian, Australian, Pakistani etc. etc.) take for granted — like a National Health AND a National Sports Teams, or to be fair TEAMS.

We have our National Cricket Team, National Soccer Team, National Rugby Team.

America really doesn’t — in terms of what the PEOPLE FOLLOW — outside of the Olympics. Yes, they have a soccer team, and a tennis team. But those are NOT their national sports.

Just think IF the U.S. had a National Football Team or Baseball Team.

Just think IF the U.S. played national sports on an International basis — as we do, all the time.

Then the National Anthem issue would really become a BIG deal.

Something to think about.

Related posts:
++++ Check Category ‘cricket‘  >>>>

by Anura Guruge

The ‘Holy See’ National Anthem, i.e., Pontifical Anthem, Charles Gounod’s ‘Marche Pontificale’.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

CoverOriginalScreenCaptureRelated Posts:
>> Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit — THE book.
>> ‘Vine Voice’ Amazon review of Pope Francis book.
>> Pope staying at Seminary as predicted in book.
>> Pope’s arrival at Andrews.
>> Holy See flag at the U.N.

Search on ‘pope‘ & Check Category ‘books‘ for many other posts >>>>


Click to listen to the anthem, as a YouTube video, played by the Prague Castle Guard & Police Orchestra.

It was played at the White House, on Wednesday morning, Sept. 23, 2015, when Pope Francis was being welcomed by President Obama. It is an anthem that is not familiar to many in that it does not get played at sporting events, e.g. the Olympics.

That it was referred to by U.S. media as the Holy See national anthem, though not incorrect per se, was misleading. The ‘Holy See’ is not a nation so it doesn’t have a national anthem. The anthem is a Pontifical Anthem for the pope. It was composed in 1869 by French composer Charles-François Gounod [1818 – 1893] best known for his rendition of the ‘Ava Maria’.

Wikipedia has a good entry for the Pontifical Anthem. Check it out.

Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn Refusal To Sing National Anthem Is A REAL Problem.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
. .
by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Mhairi Black, SNP …
>> I am OK with Cameron win.
>> Does Ed Miliband have Indian?
>> Doodle for 2015 U.K. elections.

++ Scottish referendum results.
++ Scottish referendum. …

Click on images to ENLARGE and ‘study’ here.
Use link below to access original.

corbynno1 corbynno2
Click here to access the original at the U.K. “Daily Mail”.

I knew nothing of him, not even his name, until he was elected the new Labor Leader replacing the Indian-looking Ed Miliband. But over the last few days I have watched a few ‘clips’ about him on “Sky News” and done a bit of reading. He seems like decent, genuine bloke — that I can relate to. We are of the same generation.

However, this claim that he refused to sing the National Anthem at a memorial service to remember the heroes of the Battle of Britain bothers me greatly. What I do NOT know is whether this was specific to the occasion or whether he, known to have been a vehement anti-monarchist, refuses to sing the National Anthem, point-blank. Either way this is a PROBLEM. I can sympathize with his pacifist agenda. But HONORING the HEROES of the GLORIOUS Battle of Britain transcends pacifism. We are talking straight PATRIOTISM. IF not for all those that sacrificed all they had to fight WW II the World would be a very different place. So please let us NOT confuse pacifism with the sacrifices and bravery of those that gave their all in WW I and WW II.

It is also ‘OK’ to be an anti-monarchist. I was one a long, long time ago, before the Queen won me over, head-over-heels.

My problem is that YOU cannot be Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition and refuse to sing OUR Glorious National Anthem (and yes, I do have issues with its theme and words, especially now that Britain is very much multireligious and multicultural). The National Anthem is symbolic. It, like the flag, parliament, and the monarchy, HAVE to be RESPECTED for what it is. That is not negotiable. This is a problem.

I do not give a monkey’s about his dress. That is up to him and yet again I appreciate. But the National Anthem is a whole different matter. I am NOT amused. I will keep an eye, and ear, open on this.

Pepsi 2015 IPL Opening Ceremony — Pritam Chakraborty Singing Tagore’s ‘Anandaloke’.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Other Related posts:willowcricketaprl2015
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e/ ICC WCC 2015 memorabilia.
Picking SA over NZ in 1st Semi.
g/ SA v SL — match fixing?
 … … …wcc2015logo

>> Sling TV, DishWorld & Willow Cricket.
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++++ Check Category ‘Cricket’ for many other related posts >>>>

The entire 2015 Pepsi IPL Opening Ceremony, videos of which are available at iplt20.com, ESPN and YouTube, on April 7, 2015 was an eye-opener. It was VERY Indian, mainly Bollywood but compelling, with some outstanding sequences. It was not on par with an Olympic Opening Ceremony, e.g., London 2012, but it was still, nonetheless, very well produced. I happened to catch it, serendipitously, on ESPN. Actually, from what I can see, the BEST place to get the entire video of the opening ceremony, is the ESPN APP — in my case the Roku ESPN APP. (Not the ESPN Cricket 2015 APP — just the straight, U.S., ESPN APP.) The official “Indian Premier League” site, iplt20.com, appears to have GOOD clips — but not the entire 2 hour ceremony as one video clip. [Much of what is on YouTube and other Internet outlets is garbage and some are showing other unrelated video under the ‘opening ceremony’ title!]

The opening ceremony, which I gather was delayed due to a rain storm, started with this Pritam Chakraborty sequence and the song being performed is ‘Anandaloke‘ by India’s famed polymath and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore [1861 — 1941] — who among other things inspired the National Anthems of India, Bangladesh and even Sri Lanka!

This, I found, to be quite mesmerizing, cleansing and soothing (as I invariably do with stuff done by Rabindranath Tagore). Listen to it. Savor it. It will uplift you and make you, at least for a few minutes, see the world in a different light.


Click to access video from

Ceylon Independence Day, February 4, 1948: A Story, Pictures And Even ‘The Film’.


Anura Guruge

Two Related posts:
>> Google Doodle For Sri Lanka Independence Day … — Jan. 26, 2012.
>> Radio Ceylon: The Radio Station Sir Hillary Listened To While
>> On Mt. Everest …– Jan. 30, 2013.

This is a story that over the years I heard my adoptive father tell at least 20 to 30 times, mainly to foreigners, either those visiting Ceylon or when we lived abroad in Buffalo (U.S.), Paris, New Delhi and Bangkok.

I am not sure whether it is true. I was 5.5 years from being born. My adoptive father would have been 19 and attending university. So he was the perfect age to savor this moment. My adoptive father was a born storyteller (as befits an author of his prolificity). Typically his stories that deal with historical events usually have some basis, though my father does like to embellish. I wanted to make sure that I captured this story, on the Web, for posterity because it is cute.

So those are the caveats.

Though my adoptive father always referred to it as the ‘National Anthem‘, I, after some Web research, realize that it, i.e., Sri Lanka Matha (Mother Sri Lanka), though written in 1940 did NOT become the national anthem until 1951. It was, however, very popular in the 1940s and most likely was played on Independence Day as the de facto National Anthem. It never also occurred to me to ask why it was not sung as part of the flag raising by a group of young ladies dressed in white, as became the norm. The first few times I heard the story I would have been about 6 or 7. After that I didn’t pay that much attention to it. I had heard it before.

Actual ‘British Pate’ News coverage film (movie)
of that historic day, 65 years ago.

Click to access 'British Pate' for this newsreel and at least one more related film ... on that same page. Yes, in Ceylon they were called 'films'. We went to the films, not the movies.

Click to access ‘British Pate’ for this newsreel and at least one more related film … on that same page. Yes, in Ceylon they were called ‘films’. We went to the films, not the movies.

The formal Independence ceremony at ‘Independence Square’. This was the setting for the story. Click to ENLARGE.

Click for Ceylon/Sri Lanka National Anthem from YouTube. There are other versions too. The Anthem has been slightly altered over the years for reasons of political correctness.

Click for Ceylon/Sri Lanka National Anthem from YouTube. There are other versions too. The Anthem has been slightly altered over the years for reasons of political correctness.

Independence Commemoration Hall built on the site of the original 1948 ceremony. I remember it well from my childhood. We would go and play on and around it. Click to ENLARGE.

The Independence Day 1948 Story

The Ceylon Independence Ceremony was held during the day (unlike the Indian one in 1947 which took place, quite correctly, at midnight, the Indians counting the minutes). Duke of Gloucester (Prince Henry, the 3rd son of King George V) and Duchess of Gloucester attend the official flag-raising ceremony in Colombo. Per my father the flag raising was to occur sharp at noon. The National Anthem was going to be played on Radio Ceylon as the flag was raised. This would be the first time the National Anthem,  Sri Lanka Matha, had been played on the radio — British rule not permitting it previously. There was, as was to be expected, much anticipation. Much of the population, which was probably around 8 million at the time (I am guessing), would have been listening to the radio. There was no TV or Internet. This was 1948.

It is just before noon. The Union Jack is hauled down for the last time.

The new Ceylon flag, resplendent with the lion rampant, is ready to be hoisted aloft for the first time.

Anticipation builds.

It is noon.

Radio Ceylon plays the (BBC) Big Ben chimes for the hour.

Ceylon is independent.

There is no cheering. Just silence. The crowds are waiting for the national anthem to be played so that the flag can be raised to it.

There is a pause. It soon becomes pregnant.

Still nothing. Just silence on Radio Ceylon. People check their radios to make sure that power is still on.

Suddenly, a British voice is heard:
where is that bloody record?

Those were the first words broadcast to the newly independent Ceylon by Radio Ceylon.

That concludes the story. Though there were Ceylonese working for Radio Ceylon by then, it was still British run at the time of independence.

This was just 65 years ago. So there will be quite a few people, in Ceylon, Britain and other parts, who were there on the day and can remember the ceremony. Did this really happen?

I can ask my father, but this story is part of his lore and by now he probably can’t remember its true origins. He likes to tell a lot of stories about me that I have no idea what he is talking about. So, I am looking for independent verification. It is a great story. If it is indeed 100% true it needs to be cherished and preserved. Even if it is an anecdote, it is a good one and worth repeating. I can see it happen. Open mikes are so much fun. To be honest, I can’t remember whether it was ‘bloody’ or ‘damn’. But, a good Brit would always opt for bloody ahead of damn. It was not any other swear word. ‘Bloody’ really is not even a swear word.

Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’, on this blog, in the sidebar (to your right or BELOW),
for many other posts on Independence.