The AISLS logo is a variation of the traditional Sri Lankan symbol of intertwined swans (Sinhala haṇsa; Tamil aṉṉam, both derived from the Sanskrit haṃsa). The swan represents wisdom throughout South Asia and can be found in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology and iconography. The pairing of two swans in South Asian art goes back centuries, as shown below. According to legends, the swan has the ability to drink milk out of a mixture of milk and water, symbolizing wisdom and discernment. Medieval scholars often asked their readers to be like these swans, taking the good material and leaving their mistakes behind.
The two swans in our logo stand for the coming together of America and Sri Lanka, in search of connection and understanding between our nations and cultures. The flame at the center stands for the flame of knowledge.
A ninth-century painting of a swan from a cave temple in Sittanavasal, Tamil Nadu, India
Swans with intertwined necks, from the fourteenth-century Embekke Devalaya, near Kandy
The swans face each other in care and love, and have thus become a popular theme for contemporary weddings and jewelry in Sri Lanka