Sri Lankans are beautifully unique. There is so much that is to be written about our people, our habits and of course our food! We follow our crowds, we celebrate diversity and we eat and dine like there is no tomorrow!
So here are three things that you find only in Sri Lanka, things that you will probably miss a lot, if you choose to make your home on an alien shore one day.
01. Our tuition culture
Nobody likes rat races.
Nobody likes to study for exams like their life depends on the results they get.
Nobody likes O/L’s and A/L’s.
But everybody loves to go for “tuition classes”!
So much so that once upon a time a song was written about the girls going for tuition classes too. (And once upon a time this song was quite popular too.)
We all loved going for extra classes. You HAD to go for certain classes to be an accepted human being in school. (Don’t get me wrong! I’m not trying to advocate!) Some of us seldom bothered to even take down notes in school, but we religiously went for our classes and pored over our “tutes” with so much devotion.
Some of us had ridiculous crushes on the “Sir”s who taught us our subjects, while some of us had ridiculous crushes on the boys who sat in the last row. Not many of us attended these classes with the sole intention of learning. We attended these classes because it was fun. We made good friends and often believed we belonged to a cult. (“Did you go to “x” Sir’s classes for Econ”? is a FAQ!)
02. Sri Lankan Public Holidays
We enjoy diversity. We love to give Dansal for Wesak, eat Watalappan during Ramadan and decorate trees for Christmas. And we all love to look at our calendars every month and count the number of festivals (falling on weekdays of course) in that month. Oh those beautiful days marked in red in our little calendars! We often take it personally if Public holidays are not declared for major festivals of other faiths as well (because, hey! Everyone loves a holiday!) Hence we are a 360 holiday mode-on nation!
03. Sri Lankan Food
Yes in foreign lands you will find a rich variety of grocery items that will keep you very well satisfied. You will boast about the “quality of life” that you enjoy overseas, but secretly, you will surely miss the delicious, aromatic concoctions that are found exclusively in Sri Lanka! Only our mothers can make these dishes. Not the celebrity chefs in New York’s restaurants. You know these dishes. The blackened rich Polos curries which burst with the true flavors of home and the spicy, delicious kottu roties that taste absurdly good. For most of us, happiness is a steaming bowl of devilled chick peas (with little mustard seeds stuck daintily on to the shiny yellow balls and fiery strips of red chili adding gorgeous color and delicious spice) and delight is a beautiful orange Pol sambol, made with love by our dearest mothers.
OK! now I am hungry!! Better grab some home made roti with lunu-miris!
What about you? what do you think makes Sri Lanka special for you?