When we visit Sri Lanka we enjoy the country. We love the peace between religions, we ignore their political fights, we help their economy by being there…
...religion, politics, economy
All the rest? We don’t really care. Most important, we do not trust the media. Our experience is so much different from what we hear or read or see in the press.
What about the scandals in the parliament? No matter the country you live in, it is always the same song. You have politicians that promise to do something while chasing the audience to be elected, and then no results once they are in power. Here is what we see: Sri Lanka has very good national roads. Meaning they are well-built and in good technical condition. Unfortunately, infrastructure priorities stop there. Smaller roads or poorer regions have concrete roads or dirt-roads. This is how it affects us: every time new elections pass – someone promised to build a better road to reach the lagoon where we go for kiting. Yet it is not done, so we ride on the same dusty road, and we enjoy the view.
What about those dangerous diseases? Mhm. Diseases are cruel when we are not prepared. Aside from the commonly known, that we get the same medication as in Europe (only with different names). Indeed, the Dengue fever is scary, so spray mosquito repellent as you would anyway and be cool. Mosquitoes are simply annoying, but Sri Lankan has better repellents than what we find in Europe. So check the pharmacy on your arrival to benefit from the best protection.
It is a good moment to note about medicine in Sri Lanka:
You can find some extraordinary medicinal plants, recipes and ointments locally made. Not in the back of the store – but a mass-production for Sri Lankan consumers. We replaced half of our pharmacy with remedies bought in Sri Lanka (Samahan tea instead of Fervex; Sidhalepa creme instead of anti-inflammatory; for cold and/or against mosqitos, and not to mention all the Aloe-Vera based products etc). Aloe Vera you see growing on the side of the road in the street where you live – it is paradise.
What about those fights between social-communities? For such a small country, it is very impressive the strong religious affiliation. It is not possible to say what God Sri Lankan people believe in. Most of the population is Buddhist, yet Hindu and Muslim are with important presence, also Christian as the most recent. There is no “one God” per se. They are all peacefully living together. We see Mosques next to Buddhist temple followed by a Church over 500 m on the same street.
In the city where we stay the longest while our kite-trips, we noticed the Buddhists, Muslims and Christians are equally present. We identify each community respective neighborhood mostly by the style of their houses. When on the street, they all look to be respecting each other. We even have a small joke about Christmas ‘eve dinner: because restaurants owned by Christians will be closed, we know we are eating at the Muslims-place where we still get traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.
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