Day 20 in Sri Lanka

Hey there,

The baby got baptized on Sunday, August 8th. I’ve already mailed u a link to view some of the photos. The experience was rather amusing. One one hand, there was Niroshi’s side of the family, all ultra-conservative, Roman Catholics who would ordinarily not choose to be in my company, and on the other, there was my side of the family – my cousin Roshan and his friends, and lastly, me, dreads & all. The ceremony was conducted by a Jedi Knight. Just look at the pictures. I really felt the presence of The Force. Luke Skywalker was definitely there in spirit, as were Obi-Wan Kenobi and Princess Leia.

The funniest thing about the ceremony (actually there were 2 really funny things). Firstly, the godmother Nilu had no idea of how to hold a baby. I believe maternity would pose an interesting challenge to her. Secondly, once Nilu held the baby in her arms, Mayah started trying to suck on Nilu’s breast thru her clothes. Oh god, I thought I’d die!!! When the priest finally poured some water on Mayah’s head, she started wailing. I guess babies don’t really enjoy getting cold water poured on their heads, even by a Jedi Knight.

Later that day, there was a party. Niroshi’s dad got really drunk and asked me to call him my younger brother. There was singing and general merrymaking. We had a a barbecue and I made some killer veggie kabobs. Even later, after most of the people had disappeared, one of Roshan’s friends, in a drunken frenzy, ended up punching a wall with his bare hands because he found out that a girl he really liked was simply using him. Talk about self hate. His knuckles were swollen and bleeding. It shook me up real bad, and after everyone left, I thought about Sri Lanka and why the people here are so intense. What I came up with is this: The history of this country dates back 3000+ years. Much of that history is linked directly with spirituality. So let’s assume that spiritual energy can build up in certain places, to the point where the place but radiates it. If people chose not to attune themselves to that energy, and understand it, and work with it, it ends up erupting out of them regardless… This is the best explanation I could come up with. Although this country boasts four religions, those that claim to be Christian or Tamil or Buddhist or Muslim don’t necessarily follow the principles. It’s the same with the rest of the world.

Anyway, my stay here is more than half over. I’ve met many cool people, and I’ve met some fucked up people. It’s just like anywhere else. I’ve met a woman who I really like, and there are also some challenges to us getting together. This culture poses some interesting dilemmas to romance. Oh well. I’ll take it as it comes and make the most of everything.

I’m getting used to people staring at me everywhere I go. You know, one of the reasons I enjoy leaving Milwaukee is that I can be anonymous. I’ve lived in my hometown for such a long time that I rarely avoid running into someone I know when I’m out in public. Coming here, however, is not giving me my fill of anonymity. I want to be a stranger, but it’s hard to feel like that when everyone is staring.

Don’t forget to check out the online photo gallery…

Well, I’ll see you all soon. Be well,

Roman Edirisinghe

Posted: August 10th, 2004
Categories: culture, travel
Tags: , ,
Comments: No Comments.