Tripin 2020 - page 38

foreign pressures of ‘modern life’,
Sri Lankans still hold their own
uniqueness among the peoples
of the world. With all the howling
attractions of the outside world,
true Sri Lankans still fit best at
home on the island and seem a bit
out of place elsewhere. Those who
thrive here, the undefiled innocents,
instinctively reflect the Divine in
nature. The humble willingness to
share what one has, cordially and
with a smile, is a common trait
across the island, never seeming to
be obstructed by poverty or lack of
means. The graceful attitude of a
servant is a common virtue among
most Sri Lankans and commented
on by recipients of such treatment
for the longest time.
In Sri Lanka, anything and
everything that draws attention
is assumed to be for public
consumption. So, lives continually
overlap, and life on the street or on
any village road is a rich daily blend
of exotic ingredients. Unnerving
curiosity spills over into profuse
nosiness. This trait, coupled with
unflinching eye contact, may
be status quo for the locals, but
something to get used to for the
foreigner more accustomed to
privacy and personal space. Life
and death is in your face around
here: probing you, checking you
out, seeking your point of balance,
your attention, your affections,
your soul...
Many foreigners learn the hard
way that you just can’t come here
and throw your weight around or
use the force of muscle to ‘get the
job done’. Balance is the key in
every respect. Just watch a native
scamper effortlessly up and down
the trunk of a coconut tree. Witness
a farmer maneuvering a mamothee
all day in the hot sun, barely
affecting his pulse rate or raising a
sweat. Unimaginable loads carried
on top of the head or on the back
of a push-bike are managed with
grace, not grit. These and many
other daily feats of harmony never
fail to catch the eye. However, if
one has an eye for true beauty, the
ladies of the land are the ones who
really turn your head. The village
damsel and her riverbank ways or
the adept management of a bright
flowing sari are treats to behold.
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