Being Sri Lankan.
|(Image by D3rtyMunkey)|
Being Sri Lankan to me means always having your breath taken away when Vesak comes around, and the whole city seems to come alive. Eagerly waiting to see what magnificent Christmas decorations Odel and the 5 star hotels will dazzle us with. Plates of buyriyani at Ramadan. Blessing our multi-ethnic society every-time a long weekend comes around. Double blessings when we find two in a month. Araliya trees in bloom. The tree lined Thurstan Road. The smell of sandalwood in Wellawatte.
Calling everyone 'Aunty' and 'Uncle'. Everyone knowing or being related to everyone. Everyone having family who lives in USA, Canada Australia or all three. Family dinners that don't serve food til 10pm. Always asking someone new you meet - 'What school did you go to? Oh, what batch? I know so-and-so'. Lavish weddings. Jumping with excitement every time an American fast-food franchise opens up. Freaking out at cricket matches. Sighing whenever you go abroad and someone assumes you are Indian.
I feel Sri Lankan because of all these things. This is what Sri Lanka is to me. And no matter who they accuse of heading conspiracies and how they try to divide and alienate us - I just need to remember that there are things that bind us together, no matter how different our lives are.
But I fear that while the rest of us refuse to raise our voices, this small angry minority will rip us apart. And when we allow that to happen - it is our children who will weep. Like our parents left us a war torn nation to fix - we will leave our children a shell of a nation. Is this what we want?
Edit on 23rd febuary 2013
This post has reached a wide expanse of people - including making its way by email rounds and status updates with the credit being given to 'annoymous'. And still the response is over whelming. This is just one that I was able to track down https://www.facebook.com/rajabdeen/posts/10101625528898901
http://lankapeacemaker.com/ has also featured this. Thanks also to the Facebook Page Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena who posted it and recived an overwhenlming response. The comments and shares and whatnot has overwhelmed and humbled me. Thank you to every single person for their amazing response. I am blown away.
This gives me hope that indeed this time around we're not going to wait for the riots or a war to make us realize what is at stake. This time we stand up from the beginning. And this time - Sri Lankas will win. Together.