The Rodi Community in Sri Lanka


Presentation Description

We did this presentation for Language part in ENG 101 course at University of Peradeniya.


By: siraaj (100 month(s) ago)

good effort

By: Vhanakavp (119 month(s) ago)

Thanks to Dr. Arjuna Parakrama ( Professor University of Peradeniya) for his remarkable guidance.

Presentation Transcript

Slide 1: 

Group 9 Charitha Liyanage Kasuni Jayathilake Lahiruni Wijesinghe Chanaka Palliyaguru Madusha Wanasinghe Rehenika Wickramasinghe “Rodiya People in Sri Lanka” A Socio-Linguistic Approach

Introduction : 

Rodi or Gadi - A subaltern social group or a caste in Sri Lanka. Marginalized group gradually making its way into the Sinhala Buddhist mainstream. “Rodi” means – frdâv “Dirt” Language and a tradition of their own. Introduction

Origin : 

Origin ? Rodi Legend : Descended from Ratnavalli. ? Robert Knox : Descended from Dodda Veddhas. ? M.D. Raghavan: Descended from eastern Indian aboriginal hunting tribes.

M.D. Raghavan’s explanation : 

M.D. Raghavan’s explanation Descendants of the eastern Indian hunting tribes migrated to Sri Lanka with the Sri Maha Bodhi. ‘Rodi’ - connected to the term “palli rudda” in Sanskrit “rudra” - hunter. An outcaste and an untouchable group. Worshippers of “Kali” (The Black Goddess).

Slide 5: 

Kuragala Distribution of Rodi Villages in Sri Lanka (1911)

Distribution - Rodi Community (1911) : 

Distribution - Rodi Community (1911)

Location : 


Slide 8: 

Main Occupation –Drum Making Udarata, Pahatharata Beraya Udakkiya Davula Thammattama Base Drums, Side Drums Fiber Products - Brooms,mats,carpets etc. Cane Products Fortune Telling Occupations

Slide 10: 

These families have established long distance mobile trade as a kind of extension of their hereditary occupations. None of the villagers are currently practicing socially demeaning occupations like, Begging Scavenging Handling of dead bodies Making of hair buns Magic and witchcraft Which were traditionally associated with the caste

New Trends in Occupation : 

New Trends in Occupation Labour occupations within the state sector. Hospital Attendants Sanitary Cleaners Work in the private sector. Garments

Education : 

Education Has a primary school. Started on the 31st May,1986. Classes from grade 1 to grade 5 5 teachers and 25 students. For secondary education proceed to D.B Wijethunga Central College.

Customs and traditions : 

Customs and traditions Marriage rituals are similar to the Sinhala culture. Feasting throughout a week. No dowry. Stones are laid on the grave as a protection against demons. Cremation is done if people can afford to buy firewood. Poor people bury the dead bodies. Even though many of the Kuragala inhabitants consider themselves to be Buddhists, they have a tenuous relationship with nearest Buddhist temples.

Clothing : 

Clothing During the Kandyan kingdom, both male and female Rodiyas were compelled to be bare-breasted. This rule has been diminished today. The younger generation is following today’s common ways of clothing. But some old men and women in Kuragala village wear chintz and jackets.

The Rodiya Dialect : 

The Rodiya Dialect The Rodiya life and thought are embedded in their dialect. Today the Rodiya dialect is vanishing fast. Only used among few elderly Rodiya people. Dialect is neither Indo-Aryan nor Dravidian. Connected to the Munda languages spoken by primitive tribes in Orissa and Bihar.

Rodiya Names : 

Rodiya Names Usually, Rodiya people have single names followed by an initial which stands for their village. Some female names Some male names K. Soina (Kuragala Soina) K. Podina K. Rosaliya K. Adara K. Jeewalli K. Ranvilliya K. Mahima K. Pinsara K. Pinthu K. Adoriya K. Dinasa K. Ranhuduwa K. Sitta K. Ranmuduwa Today the Rodiya people have a tendency to take up other common names such as Wijeratna, Senevi & Banda.

Vowels : 

Vowels Absence of long vowels, except for “a” Vowels a,e,i,o,u are pronounced with same sound value. The long “a” frequently occurs in many words “Hapa” – bad “nilatu” - water “Wame” – pot “u” and “I” are always pronounced short “Hurubu” – salt “Hidulu” – milk “Pekiritta” - Belly

Compounds : 

Compounds Lengthy compounds are used to denote simple tings. Axe – Matilli likkana naduva ; the tree cutting tool Sea – Ilayat teri nilatu ange; the excellent great good water Necklace – Galle hapakarana teriange ; that which makes the neck excellent Feet – Bintalavve tävinena dägul degirava. ; the two hands that go on the ground

Verbs : 

Verbs The inflected verbs with personal terminations is quite unknown to the Rodiyas. The conjugation of verbs in respect of tense and person does not exist. Instead of the verb, they use the gerundic or participle form ending in ava, anava, una, enne etc. Dissenava - to go Tavinnenava – to come Yapinnava – to sit Lukkuna - died Tavinnuna - went Ralukaranaa - to kill Pekanava - to see Yappanava - to give

Dialectical Formation of Gender : 

Dialectical Formation of Gender Adding the inflection “ I ” to the masculine. Bussa - Dog Bissi - Bitch Ludda - Bull Luddi - Cow Adding of an extra word to the masculine noun. Patiliya - Cock Patili Keta - Hen Gadiya - Husband Gadi Kevenni - Wife

Syntax: : 

Syntax: The following illustrate the Rodiya syntax:- Gävi madu terikaranava. The woman is cooking rice. Teriangaya, tävinnenne koyi dumanatada ? Sir (Great Man) to which house are you going? Munissan – angaya ilaya ralukaranava. The policeman kills the snake. Bilinda terivejji pabbarukan miganava. The boy is eating ripe plantains. Mama galugähävvan yäpune, koyi dumaneda? When I Called you, where (In which house) were you ?

Slide 23: 

Photo Gallery

References : 

References Knox, Robert (1958), An Historical Relation of Sri Lanka, Thisara Prakashakayo Ltd, Dehiwala, Colombo., Sri Lanka. Raghavan, M.D.(1957) Handsome Beggars, The Rodiyas of Ceylon, Ceylon Book Center, Colombo. Sri Lanka, "WWW Virtual Library Index",10 November,2009 <>

Thank You : 

Thank You

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