New Sinhalese Language and Music Show

A new community access radio show and podcast is celebrating Sinhalese language and the golden era of Sri Lankan music.

Dr Suranga Dassanayake, an Assistant Research Fellow at the School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, hosts weekly programme Sathsara Rawa on OAR FM.

Dr Dassanayake grew up in a small village in Sri Lanka’s Western Province, where mornings were often spent tuned into a popular music programme on the radio.

He and fellow villagers depended on the radio, he said.

“Music gave us direction, perseverance and enthusiasm to go ahead with the day.

“These were songs about love, our society, our history and the beauty of nature.”

Sathsara Rawa features artists such as Sri Lankan music legend Pandit Amaradeva, who dominated a period from the 1960s through to the early 2000’s known as the golden era.

Dr Dassanayake said the music would have nostalgic appeal to listeners from Dunedin’s Sri Lankan community, and to others around the world tuning into podcasts.

“These songs take us back to an era when we spent a very happy life in Sri Lanka.”

Sathsara Rawa airs every Wednesday at 7pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts. Listeners can email the programme at