Since the first newspapers cascaded through the printing presses hundreds of years ago, there has been an incessant and undeniable importance associated with their impact. As technology matured and information streams became more fractured, bringing communities together in the shared collective narrative of the world is no simple or easy task.

SriLankaNZ tackles this increasing fractured state with impressive zeal and unbridled optimism, the community newspaper is based in New Zealand and seeks to bring together two very distinct and interesting cultures through a shared unique lens.

A Successful Rise

The Newspaper was founded by Harsha Weerakoon and Charith Ekanayake in the twilight months of 2019 to uproarious success. Originally intended to be a newspaper serving the interest of the 18,000 non-native Sri-Lankans who had made New Zealand their home, it has blossomed into a more unifying and cross-culturally relevant vehicle for those living in New Zealand.

After launching digitally in 2019, traffic overloads and increasing demand inspired the creators to release a print version of the newspaper for those who wanted to share it amongst those in the community, harkening back to the days of print media being the method of informational consumption.

As the readership progressively grows, there are calls for more and more content with the newspaper being considered as one of the few true representations of Sri Lankan news outside of the homeland.

The Importance Of Cultural Identity

The success of SriLankaNZ highlights the inherent potential that exists in the cross-cultural state of the world we find ourselves in. The paper is a shining example of what true cultural cohesion can look like with the two admittedly different cultures being seen through a unique and encompassing lens.

While the debate surrounding identity and what constitutes culture still rages on and is likely to for many generations to come. The SriLankaNZ example is perfect for surmising the potential of true togetherness. Being released in both English and Sinhala, the newspaper discusses both New Zealand and Sri Lankan issues with little evidence of agenda.

Instead, the stories resemble a mark of celebrating difference and finding the commonplace eccentricities that exist in the distinct nature of humanity.

Next Steps

The paper is showing little sign of slowing down, with the next issue due in the coming weeks. SriLankaNZ should be held as a wide-reaching example of what could be possible with a little understanding and a lot of hard work.