Diversity is a blessing: Udan at the Muslim ‘eatery’ !

Gaya’s intro: The irony of this post below is that one year ago, when the BBS were attempting to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment, here was the iSrilankan Avurudu post 2013 echoing a campaign by non-Muslims to turn the current around: Buy Muslim without fail this Avurudu!

UDAN FERNANDO

Colombo and outskirts are having their usual ghost town character during the Avurudu (New Year) season. No vehicles on the road. Very few people are around. All shops are closed except a random Muslim eatery where I had my brunch with a few interesting people who could not make to New Year celebrations with their respective families.

One’s a security guard of Burgher King. He could not get leave to visit his family in Embilipitiya.

The other is a manager of a small shop who’s also entrusted with looking after the premises while the owner is away.

They looked a bit sad but when I chatted with them, the common Sri Lankan expression came up: monawa karanna da (what-to-do).

There were two budget-tourists who were relieved that there’s at least one place for them to have cheap food. Thanks to our neighborhood Muslim ‘kade’ (way-side eatery) a few of us could have food. Thought it’s a blessing that the New Year is celebrated only by Sinhala and Tamil ethnic groups! And diversity, I felt, is not just a normative consideration but also a very pragmatic one!

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Photos: Udan Fernando

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