Category Archives: Sri Lanka

Oh Sri Lanka! :)

Our days in Sri Lanka went by so fast. We started our tour in Negombo, with our lovely host Dennis, who was ‘virtually’ with us all the time. ­čÖé After that we have been to Sigiriya, Pollonaruwa, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Uda Walawe, Tangalle, Weligama and Hikkaduwa. In this final post about Sri Lanka, I would like to mention all the little things that I noticed in this lovely country but never took the time to explicitly write about.

– Rice and Curry –
A random conversation, I had with a child in Tangalle:
Child: “So, what do you eat for breakfast in Germany?”
Me: “Buns, bread, butter, jam, ………”
Child: “And what do you eat for lunch?”
Me: “It depends. For instance: pasta with different kinds of sauces, maybe with some meat or fish, ………”
Child: “And for dinner?”
Me: “Similar to lunch or something lighter like salad when you had a big lunch……..”
Child with a desperate looking face: “And when do you eat rice and curry?!?!?!?”
­čÖé

Rice and curry is a, or let’s say THE traditional meal in Sri Lanka. When it is prepared well, it looks like this:

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– Waving children –
In an earlier post, I mentioned all the people waving at the passing train. But that’s not all about waving and Sri Lanka. In almost every city that we visited we found some little friends, mostly neighbors, waving at us and screaming “byeeee byeeee byeeee byeeee” whenever we walked by. Here my favorites from Weligama:

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– Traffic –
The traffic in Sri Lanka was very chaotic – at least compared to most European countries. Nevertheless, luckily, we’ve never witnessed any accidents. This might be linked to the extremely high amount of tuc-tucs that can’t drive very fast… It’s definitely not linked to the amount of traffic lights, as, during my whole stay in Sri Lanka, I saw maybe six of them (maximum!). ­čÖé

– Turtles –
One of my highlights was swimming with sea turtles in Hikkaduwa. And the best part of this: I didn’t meet those lovely animals in a swimming pool or anything like that, but in the ocean, freely swimming around.
By the way: Did you know that turtles can get up to 200 years old?!

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– Internet –
I really need to say this: The mobile internet network in Sri Lanka is so much better than the one in Germany! You’re literally in the middle of nowhere and your mobile phone shows ‘4G’! Amazing! ­čÖé

______________________

Sri Lanka’da g├╝nlerimiz ├žok g├╝zel ve h─▒zl─▒ ge├žti. Turumuza Negombo’da, g├╝zel ve misafirperver arkada┼č─▒m─▒z Dennis’in pansionunda ba┼člad─▒k. Sigiriya, Pollonaruwa, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Uda Walawe, Tangalle, Weligama ve Hikkaduwa adl─▒ ┼čehirleri gezerek Sri Lanka turumuzu tamamlad─▒k bug├╝n. Bu g├╝zel ├╝lke hakk─▒nda bu son yaz─▒mda, Sri Lanka’da fark etti─čim ama yazmak i├žin zaman bulamad─▒─č─▒m k├╝├ž├╝k ┼čeylerden bahsetmek istiyorum.

– Pilav ve Curry –
Tangalle’de bir k├╝├ž├╝k ├žocuk ile benim aramda ge├žen bir konu┼čma:
├çocuk: “Almanya’da siz kahvalt─▒da ne yersininiz?”
Ben: “Ekmek, tereya─č─▒, re├žel, ………”
├çocuk: “├ľ─čle yeme─činde peki?”
Ben: “Duruma g├Âre de─či┼čir. ├ľrne─čin: Makarna ve yan─▒nda bir et veya bal─▒k t├╝r├╝, ………”
├çocuk: “Ve ak┼čam yeme─či?”
Ben: “├ľ─čle yeme─čine benzer. Yada b├╝y├╝k bir ├Â─čle yeme─či yemi┼čsem, salata gibi k├╝├ž├╝k bir ┼čey olabilir ……..”
├çocuk, ├žok ├╝zg├╝n, ve y─▒k─▒lm─▒┼č bir ┼čekilde: “Peki ama pilav ve curry’i ne zaman y─▒─č─▒yorsunuz?”
­čÖé

Pilav ve curry Sri Lanka’nin en geleneksel yemekleri, ve e─čer g├╝zel haz─▒rlanm─▒┼čsa ├╝stteki yemek resmine benzer. Ortada b├╝y├╝k bir tabak pilav ve yan─▒nda de─či┼čik sebze ve et yemekleri olur.

– El sallayan ├žocuklar –
Bir ├Ânceki yaz─▒lar─▒mdan birinde, ge├žen trene el sallayan insanlardan s├Âz etmi┼čtim. Ama, Sri Lanka’da, el sallama konusunun dahas─▒ var: Hemen hemen her gitti─čimiz ┼čehirde, bize ne zaman evlerinin yan─▒ndan ge├žsek el sallayan kom┼ču ├žocuklarla kar┼č─▒la┼čt─▒k. Birde “byeeee byeeee byeeee byeeee” diye arkam─▒zdan ├ž─▒─čl─▒k atamalar─▒ ├žok ┼čekerdi ger├žekden.
En ├žok sevdi─čim ‘├╝├ž k├╝├ž├╝k arkada┼č─▒m─▒’ yukaridaki resimde g├Âre bilirsiniz.

– Trafik –
Avrupa ├╝lkeleriyle k─▒yaslarsam – Sri Lanka’nin trafi─či ├žok kaotik bir ┼čey. Ama b├╝t├╝n bir ay i├žinde ├žok ┼č├╝k├╝r hi├ž bir kazaya tan─▒k olmad─▒k. Belki bu Tuc-tuc adl─▒ ├╝├ž tekerlekli ara├žlara ba─čl─▒d─▒r: fazla h─▒zl─▒ gidemiyorlar ├ž├╝nk├╝. Trafik ─▒┼č─▒klar─▒n─▒n say─▒s─▒na ba─čl─▒ olmad─▒─č─▒ kesin: d├╝┼č├╝n├╝yorum, d├╝┼č├╝n├╝yorum ama t├╝m Sri Lanka’da en fazla alt─▒ trafik ─▒┼č─▒─č─▒ ya g├Ârd├╝m ya g├Ârmedim. ­čÖé

– Deniz kaplumba─čalar─▒ –
En g├╝zel ve aklimda kalan ┼čeylerden biri Hikkaduwa’da deniz kaplumba─čalar─▒ ile birlikte y├╝zmek oldu. Ve bunun en harika yani bu g├╝zel yaratt─▒klarla bir havuzda degilde, tesad├╝fen denizde kar┼č─▒la┼čmamiz oldu.
Bu arada: Deniz kaplumba─čalar─▒ 200 ya┼č─▒na kadar ya┼čayabiliyor – bunu biliyor muydunuz?!

– Internet –
S├Âylemeden ge├žemeyece─čim: Sri Lanka’nin mobil internet ba─člant─▒s─▒ ├žo─ču Avrupa ├╝lkelerinden ├žok daha iyi! S├╝per ger├žekten!

Chandrika from Hikkaduwa

I really enjoyed staying with Chandrika in Hikkaduwa. She was a great host, and I will miss our ‘evening chats’ about Europe, India, family, love and various other topics…

Chandrika:
“I was born and lived in Mumbai, India, for 20 years. After getting married, I returned to my home country Sri Lanka and started this guesthouse here in Hikkaduwa with my husband. More than 30 years past and I am still enjoying having many people from all around the world here.
Even though the sea is right on my doorstep, I don’t have the time go to the beach very often – but that’s totally fine with me. The source for my happiness are doubtlessly my children.”

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______________________

Chandrika’nin pansionunda kalmak ├žok zevklidi. Ak┼čamlar─▒ beraber oturup ‘d├╝nyan─▒n hallerini’ konu┼čmay─▒ ├Âzleyecegim…

Chandrika:
“Mumbai, Hindistan’da do─čdum ve b├╝y├╝d├╝m. 20 ya┼č─▒nda evlenip kendi ├╝lkeme, yani Sri Lanka’ya, geri d├Ând├╝m ve e┼čimle beraber Hikkaduwa’da bu k├╝├ž├╝k pansionu a├žt─▒k. 30 y─▒ldan fazla zaman ge├žti ve ben hala d├╝nyan─▒n d├Ârt bir yan─▒ndan insan a─č─▒rlamas─▒n─▒ ├žok seviyorum.
Deniz kap─▒n─▒n ├Ân├╝nde olsa bile, ├žok s─▒k plaja gidemiyorum – ama olsun. Benim mutlulu─čumun kayna─č─▒ ├žocuklar─▒m.”

The fake stilt fishers of Sri Lanka

What do you think when you see the photo above?

‘Oh wow… stilt fishers… very old traditional way of fishing… Steve McCurry ‘s world-renowned photo… passionate, hard working and patient men…’
Those thoughts were going through our minds when we spotted the fishers on our way from Weligama to Hikkaduwa. Amazed by this view, we asked our driver to stop the car.
I took out my camera and was just about to take a picture, when a guy approached us. He said: “If you wanna takes pictures, you need to pay!” We were really shocked by this comment as we didn’t understand why we should pay for taking a photo of an ‘open landscape’. After some discussion with the guy, we realized that the ‘fishers’ were no fishers really, but men providing a fake scene to tourist who are willing to pay money for taking some pictures (to show to their family and friends back in their home countries).
Having negotiated the price from 1000 Rupees to 150, we gave in and took the pictures below. Was it worth it?

Later we learned that ‘real’ stilt fishers would never go fishing in the noontime sun, neither would they cast their fishing lines next to a very busy road.
If you wonder which fishers earn more money: the fake ones.

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Sri Lanka’nin sahte ‘uzunbacak bal─▒k├ž─▒lar─▒’

├ťstteki foto─čraf─▒ g├Âr├╝nce ne d├╝┼č├╝n├╝yorsunuz?
‘Ah ne g├╝zel… uzunbacak bal─▒k├ž─▒lar─▒… ├žok eski geleneksel bir bal─▒k├ž─▒l─▒k t├╝r├╝ … Steve McCurry ‘ nin d├╝nyaca ├╝nl├╝ foto─čraf─▒… ├žal─▒┼čkan, disiplinli ve sab─▒rl─▒ adamlar…’

Weligama’dan Hikkaduwa’ya do─čru gidiyorduk ki, yolun kenar─▒nda bal─▒k├ž─▒lar─▒ g├Ârd├╝k. Ayni bu d├╝┼č├╝nceler akl─▒m─▒zdan ge├žmeye ba┼člad─▒. Bu harika manzaray─▒ biraz daha yak─▒ndan g├Ârmek i├žin, taksicimizden arabay─▒ durdurmas─▒n─▒ istedik.
Tam resim ├žekmek ├╝zereydim, bir adam bize yakla┼čt─▒. Dedi ki: “Foto─čraf paral─▒!” Biz a├ž─▒k bir manzaran─▒n resmini ├žekmek i├žin neden para vermemizi pek anlayamad─▒k ilk ├Ânce. Sonra fark ettik ki, bal─▒k├ž─▒lar ger├žek bal─▒k├ž─▒ de─čil! Adamlar b├╝t├╝n g├╝n gelen ge├žen, foto─čraf i├žin azda olsa para veren, turistlere sahte bir sahne sunuyor daha ├žok…
Fiyat─▒ 1000 Rupi’den 150 (yakla┼č─▒k 1ÔéČ) indirdikten sonra yukaridaki resimleri ├žektim. Buna de─čdi mi sizce?

Daha sonra ├Â─črendik ki ‘ger├žek’ uzunbacak bal─▒k├ž─▒lar─▒ ├Â─čle g├╝ne┼činde asla bal─▒k tutmaya cikmaz, ne de me┼čgul bir yol kenar─▒nda bal─▒k tutarlar.
Hangi bal─▒k├ž─▒lar─▒n daha ├žok para kazand─▒─č─▒n─▒ merak ediyorsan─▒z: sahte olanlar─▒.

Indika from Weligama

Look what our lovely host in Weligama, Indika, has to say:
“Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, and is therefore known as the ‘Perl of the Indian Ocean’. Our country has been popular all over the world especially with exports, mainly tea, coconut and rubber.
Most Sri Lankan people are very hospitable, especially for foreign people. They like to share their experiences with others.
I live with my partner Anu, her parents and my twin daughters: Irushi and Inushi. I’m a business man, Anu is a school teacher, and her parents are former officers of the government. I like to share the Sri Lankan culture and tradition with people from other countries.”

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When I took this photo Anu was at work unfortunately… | Anu ├žal─▒┼č─▒yordu malesef bu foto─čraf─▒ ├žekti─čimde…

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Irushi & Inushi ÔŁĄ

Weligama’daki pansionumuzun sahibi Indika, bak─▒n ne diyor:
“Sri Lanka, Hint Okyanusu ile ├ževrili bir adad─▒r, ve bu nedenle ‘Hint Okyanusu’nun incisi’ olarakda bilinir. ├ťlkemiz, ihracatlar─▒yla (├Âzellikle ├žay, hindistan cevizi ve kau├žuk) ile t├╝m d├╝nyaya tan─▒nm─▒┼čt─▒r. Bundan ├Ât├╝r├╝ Sri Lanka’nin insanlar ├žok misafirperverlerdir.
Ben, e┼čim Anu, ailesi ve ikiz k─▒zlar─▒m─▒z, Irushi ve Inushi, ile beraber ya┼č─▒yorum. Ben i┼č adam─▒y─▒m, Anu okul ├Â─čretmeni ve kayinvalidemler h├╝k├╝metin emekli subaylarindan. Di─čer ├╝lkelerden gelen insanlarla Sri Lanka’nin k├╝lt├╝r├╝n├╝ ve gelene─čini payla┼čmay─▒ ├žok seviyorum.”

One of the world’s most beautiful train rides…

One of the must-do’s in Sri Lanka is the train ride from Kandy to Ella. Besides the amazing landscapes, I truly enjoyed seeing so many people waving at the passing train. Of course, I waved back as much as I could.┬á ­čÖé

[Good to know: Reserved (!) seats in the third class are perfectly fine. We couldn’t see or feel any difference to second class tickets, except the higher price.]

– D├╝nya’n─▒n en g├╝zel tren seyahatlerinden biri –

Sri Lanka’da kesinlikle yapman─▒z gereken ┼čey, Kandy’den Ella’ya do─čru trene binmek! ┼×ahane g├Âr├╝nt├╝lerin yan─▒s─▒ra, t├╝m insanlar nedense ge├žen trene el sall─▒yor. Bende tabiki m├╝mk├╝n oldu─ču kadar ├žok buna kar┼č─▒l─▒k verdim. ­čÖé

[Bu arada biraz daha pahal─▒ ikinci s─▒n─▒f bilete hi├ž gerek yok. Koltuk reservation’unu yapt─▒r─▒rsan─▒z ├╝├ž├╝nc├╝ s─▒n─▒fta seyahat etmekte s├╝per.]

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Canadapura Children’s Village

Canadapura Children’s Village, founded by Rev. W. Pannasara, is home to currently 18 children. 7 boys, 11 girls aged between 8 and 16 years. Some of them have lost their parents with the Tsunami which hit Sri Lanka in 2004, or come from very poor families. Providing a home to less privileged children and supporting them in their education, the “Canadapura program”┬áhas also been recognized by the Sri Lankan government.
I am very happy that I had the chance to get to know the children, and to spend some time with them. They are so creative and eager to learn new things!┬áFor example, I showed them how to fold paper boxes and they came up with the craziest ideas for decorating their folded artwork. Even though my performance can’t be considered as good, the children taught me how to play cricket. They are all just amazing! I hope to stay in touch and definitely will visit whenever I am in Sri Lanka!

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Currently the main complex of the children’s home is extended by a new building which among others will involve a library, rooms for the older ones / teenagers, a care / treatment room for sick children, and a guestroom for volunteers or guests. This building extension is entirely funded by donations. So far the library could be completed only.┬áIf you want to contribute your part to Canadapura Children’s Village have a look at http://www.CanadaPura.com and get in touch!

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Canadapura ├žocuklar yurdu Rev. W. Pannasara taraf─▒ndan kurulmu┼čtur. Yurtta ┼ču an 8 ve 16 ya┼člar─▒ aras─▒nda 11 k─▒z ve 7 erkek ├žocu─ču kal─▒yor. ├çocuklar─▒n baz─▒s─▒ anne ve babalar─▒n─▒ 2004’de meydana gelen Tsunami’de kaybetmi┼č, di─čerlerise ├žok fakir ailelerin ├žocuklar─▒.
├çocuklarla biraz zaman ge├žirme, ve onlar─▒ tan─▒yabilme ┼čans─▒m oldu─ču i├žin ├žok mutluyum. ├çocuklar ├žok zeki ve yeni ┼čeyleri ├Â─črenmeye ├žok merakl─▒lar. Ben onlara ka─č─▒ttan kutu yapmay─▒ g├Âsterdim, ve onlar yapt─▒─č─▒m─▒z kutular─▒ o kadar g├╝zel s├╝sledilerki, inanamad─▒m. Onlarda bana kendi mili sporlar─▒n─▒ ├Â─čretti: Cricket. (Pek iyi oldu─čum s├Âylenemez ama ­čÖé ) Umarim uzun zaman ileti┼čimde kal─▒r─▒m onlarla.
Bu aralar ├žocuklar yurdunun dairesi geni┼čletiliyor. Yeni b├Âl├╝mlerde bir k├╝t├╝phane, gen├ž / ergen ├žocuklara ayr─▒ odalar, hasta ├žocuk odas─▒ ve g├Ân├╝ll├╝ler i├žin bir misafir odas─▒ gibi yerler yap─▒lacak. Geni┼čletme in┼čaat─▒n─▒n t├╝m├╝ yard─▒mseverlerin ba─č─▒┼člar─▒yla ger├žekle┼čtirilmektedir. ┼×u ana kadar bir tek k├╝t├╝phane yap─▒labilinmi┼čtir. E─čer sende yard─▒m etmek istiyorsan http://www.canadapura.com’a t─▒klay─▒p irtibata ge├žebilirsin.

Happiness

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ÔÇťThousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.ÔÇŁ┬á
– Buddhist saying –

ÔÇťTek bir mumla, binlerce mum yak─▒labilir, ve bu o mumun ├Âmr├╝n├╝ k─▒saltmaz. Mutluluk’da buna benzer, asla payla┼čarak azalmaz.ÔÇť
– Budist atas├Âz├╝ –