Monday, 24 November 2008

Recap Sri Lanka

Let’s look back.... more time pass from that period…

Let’s look back to Sri Lanka experience….

Let’s see some facts of Sri Lanka or of my time here:

- Sri Lanka is supposed to be part of the developing world- that means a poor country where many people are struggling with extreme poverty

- It is a former British colony (for those who don’t know) and it has a very Big Brother, India that is situated on top of it.

- British manage to make from them the biggest exporter of tea….as I know for sure Ceylon is extremely familiar to you. (for this reason the tea that is on the market in this country represent in fact the trash from the end of the bucket – the good one is in your country)

- The poorest people of the country are the ones that work on the tea plantation (what an irony)

- The TEA culture is a big heritage from this old “parents” and as usual with milk (powder milk) and with sugar by default.

- From decades the country energy and power is sucked by the ongoing civil war between the state army and a terrorist group that supposedly represents a minority group of the country (Tamils Hindus).

- It is a Tsunami affected area, half of the coastal areas was affected; they did recover big time in terms of reconstruction BUT not in terms of psychological damage ; fear of water; many cemeteries on the beach keep on distance maybe tourists and any intention of building some tourist resorts (that eventual will attract money for the community)

- I lived almost 13 weeks in this small island

- I visited 9 different places/cities of the country (including some parts of the country under the army cheek and security )

- I have discussed or interact with almost 200 people

- I have tried almost every curry possible (more then 20 for sure) (including those made from non-ripped fruits that are still are mystery for me)

- Are more then 20 types of bananas or mangos and I still didn’t manage to make the difference between them

- The fruits and vegetables are most of the times taken from the plantation extremely “green” –let’s say non-ripped and sold on the market not after to much time

- For sure the word winter/spring/autumn or even summer doesn’t have any sense in this country (where is all the year something like summer ) – rainy season or dry (this is the way to make the separation) but not so many people seems to know when during the year is more exactly rainy season

Let’s see now some more personal-subjective and maybe les objective but based on some of the sri lankan reality.

What I like in Sri Lanka

- relaxing lifestyle – the mind can take a break in this country, is stimulating you to give up stress, to relax, to be in peace with you, more connection with the nature and less busy social life (as social life doesn’t really exist in the European way – except the capital city-Colombo)

- the traditional stile of clothing of people; - the western influence is really very small even if they consider is very big ; streets for sure are full of saries and sarongs :)

- the more natural way of living – as food and way of cooking; and believes on health issues or even on lives; (ayurveda “science” is generally accepted and used in daily life)

- they still have indigenous people: VEDA people ; they still have their own life style BUT they start to adapt to the "tourist attracting" one;

- Food : fruits (so many, so divers, so tasty, so natural) – papaya, jack fruit, mango, bananas, avocado, passion fruit, pineapple, cluster apple, wood apple, star fruit, king coconut, beli, guava , grapefruit, and so on ; sea food – prawns, crabs, cattle fish, fish (including fresh tuna or shark), lobster, - just delicious

- nature – the jungle is like everywhere, is a great view and very beautiful and still very natural ….(even if I’m sure that from 20 years ago they destroyed 20 percent of the (rainy) forest) …hopefully they will stop; the ocean and the little towns near the see are like in the pictures/movies :)

- wild life – elephants walking on the road, friendly monkeys always waiting some food from you, bugs, snakes, wild boars, insects or other kind of animals that can cross the street anytime in your front; the wild life is still wild but also friendly; not so wild but very beautiful – the elephant orphanage

What I didn’t like

- “distant culture” – people don’t open themselves, don’t speak about them, don’t open personal subject, don’t go deep in any subject, are not interested in who are you (deeply) and where are you from (deeply) and is very hard to reach them and find out what they think; non-confrontation approach and avoidance of any bad situation between people;

- shy culture – afraid to tell what they think, to express their opinion, in some situation even to speak in front of new people and specially white people (maybe some side effects of colonization) most of the times they are laughing as a defence and barrier ; ADD – shy in “confrontation” situations but they are not shy in gossip and speak all the bad thinks behind the people – and after that smiling to them as purely as possible;

- the ongoing stereotyping behaviour towards WHITE people – different prices, different privileges, different (and very high) expectation in matter of money issue specially, and very very rigid opinions about a white person that seams that nothing will change them (rich, happy, mother language –English, too open as life style, etc) – any new information that change some of this strong impression will not be mentally accepted; is extremely hard to be treated as an equal here (no mater what you do)

- the low level of critical and analyzing sense in what matter their reality or the world reality – they dont go deep in the reasons behind a subject or situation (is connected with what I written before) –

- playing the “victim” of the world – complaining about poverty and hard life of sri lankan (maybe a tendency developed in time and with many “money” benefits from the whites) but if you go a bit deeper you will realise that is not all the time with fundament; they are complaining but not really for them, for others and if is any benefit is for them and not for the others;

- spicy food – way to much for my European “tong” and almost in everything (in cooked food or in the snacks or chips)

If I calculate …is much more deeper what I didn’t like but I still work on putting this experience in a more global view, and giving more sense to what is happening at this moment there (as social-cultural aspects).

The mental work is in progress!

1 comment:

Aga said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaa, EURIZONS t-shirt;) hehe, nice blog, and see u ery soon