Here in Sri Lanka as in any other country, it is sometimes easy to feel a bit overwhelmed by the stresses of daily living. Older generations may have told you of a time when the going was easier and less hectic than what it is now, that they had time to enjoy the little things and not worry too much about what was in store the next day. But in the here and now, it is completely understandable to feel that life has turned into a bit of a rat race. We have developed, achieved, adapted, and overcome more than we ever have but at the current pace at which we are going, it can all start to feel a bit soulless and we are bound to ask ourselves the question, “What is it all for?”
Perhaps, this would be a good point to slow down and remember those little things that once satisfied us but gradually faded into irrelevance in the grand scheme of things. From person to person, those little things can be almost anything. But here are a few that every Sri Lankan can relate to.
Even if you are not the biggest fan of cricket, you probably had fun doing this at some point in your life. And even if you do not enjoy participating in it as much, it is still fun to watch. Cricket is one of Sri Lanka’s favorite past times, be it playing or watching it being played. In the more suburban and rural parts of town, you will still likely see a group kids after school or even grown-ups after work coming together, splitting into teams and throwing themselves across all parts of the field before dispersing into the night, only to relive the fun all over again the next day.
When There’s a “Dansala” In Town
Sri Lankans love food almost as much as they love giving it and there is no better way to witness this than at one of the many dansalas being held annually by regular people. Just imagine travelling in the scorching noon day sun and being stopped in your tracks by a group of kind-hearted strangers giving away free ice cream or lunch packets. Fills the heart like it does the stomach.
Enjoying Thambili On The Roadside
It never gets old. Sipping thambili from one of the many vendors you will inevitably pass on the roadside. Whether you are a resident living in Sri Lanka or a tourist, the stresses of travelling remain the same. King coconuts are the island’s natural remedy for its hot and humid weather and they grow here in abundance. And they provide the age old satisfaction of quenching your thirst like no other beverage.
Sri Lankans have had an enduring fascination with spice. It gives us a kick that we just can’t get enough of; so much so that we like to add it to whatever food we can think of, even our fruit. Yes, to the rest of the world, a bag of pickled fruits or vegetables may come across as a bit unorthodox or even ballsy but here in Sri Lanka, it is just another one of life’s simple joys. An achcharu vendor is as welcome a sight to everyone from school children to generations older.
The Sound Of The Bombai Motai Guy
It isn’t just chilli that we are obsessed with. We also love our sweets. The Bombai Motai man is another beloved member of the local community whose bell stops everyone from doing whatever else and flocking to his humble cart for the Sri Lankan equivalent of candy floss. Except it isn’t spun around a stick but sandwiched between two crunchy wafers. It is much rougher and more potent than candy floss but that’s exactly how we like it.
Poya On A Weekday
It’s a Sri lankan thing… to find yourself in another country, see the full moon and suddenly realize, your country is the only one that declares a public holiday each time that happens. Over here, Poya days bring a much needed calm and soberness to each month that we can use to do nothing except breathe, relax, meditate, or do something fun and leisurely.
Freshly Cooked Rice And Your Grandmother’s ‘Pol Sambol’
Whether you are coming home from school or from work, grandma’s cooking is always a sight for sore eyes especially since she seems to know your taste buds particularly well and there is no one else in the world who can pull off rice and pol sambol like she can. But you know what? There’s probably no better feeling for her than to see someone appreciate her cooking the way you do.