This time I found myself listening more… talking less.

 

So I went home to childhood and memories. They were all there where I had left em, though many unexpected changes made it impossible to do all what I had planned to on holiday.  You go home and your mother has aged while you were away and needs a different pace, more care. Then relatives pass away with no warning, not one but two sometimes.  You see things that need care and repair, homes, relationships and you are outside looking in. You have to be careful not to ruffle feathers and know your place as an outsider.

Same goes for the country situation. I found myself listening more and talking less on this visit home. That country still has the potential to amaze and surprise me  and shake the established thought processes and logical thinking.  It has one amazing resource that is colourful, tenacious, fun and inspiring: the people.  On this visit I met wonderful people who came over from Sydney, New York City, Edinburgh, Paris, etc and especially those who live  in Sri Lanka who were in spirit, word and deed committed to changing lives of the young children.  They were giving skill, resources and care for those who have little or nothing, are marked deep by tragedy and are what people would call, hopeless.  Well, all respect and love to those change-makers who do not think that they are hopeless.

What can I do, what can iSrilankan do to use this time, the next five years best was the question that kept me from talking too much.  Listening helped me realise that featuring the ground voices will be a sensitive role but I will do it with due respect to the issues of security, privacy and sensibility.

I missed the Diaspora

People living in Sri Lanka will not be amused at my missing these guys when on holiday in Sri Lanka.

They don’t miss em, they don’t wanna know em, no of course not. Many of my Sri Lankan Tamil friends give me a piece of their mind for saying Diaspora.But I found myself speaking more and more about the Diaspora in Sri Lanka.

People who were corporate leaders with little time, found this theme so interesting we argued for hours on the Diaspora, the stakeholders in peace the issues of motherland and solidarity.  While I understand both sides of the argument I marvel at our little island and its complexities.

 

In a way I feel both local and Diasporan. Where were the people I had chatted with on FB, whose views I disagree and agree with, whose inanities or disconnect sometimes is exasperating but hey, these guys were the people I missed hanging out with somehow in Colombo, to sip a passion fruit mojito at the fave bar in the Dutch Hospital, pop off for a Jaffna crab curry in Col 6, take an early morning walk with or share a beach sunset in Mount Lavinia while discussing stuff which … well.. perhaps we in the Diaspora were more concerned with.

And then I found the most unusual people were pro-Diasporan involvement and engagement – ministers and posh restaurant owners among em. Again… don’t assume.

Further, I found some lovely Diasporans who were engaged in making change happen and having a quiet transformative time in doing so, and yes, hanging out with some of em was just great cos for a few moments we could lapse into Diaspora-talk which the local friends have no desire for.

 A changed iSrilankan

I left iSrilankan on the backburner. Not interested in the hits-likes-popularity stats right now, I needed a break to assess the best role iSrilankan could play in bridging the divide.

How could the Diasporans be invited to see the real disconnect that exists between reality on the ground and what one hears, reads, sees and imbibes from media and reported perspectives that are most always agenda-driven?

 

Where is the respect for the wonderful change-makers and where is the compassion for the little children who need to know that someone out there cares about em and are doing something about their future NOW? Arguing that helping the kids is aiding a government and so let’s not engage is just not nice. It’s inhuman if you knew what you can do to change a life of a kid who is crying out for the basic support and its needed now. iSrilankan can bring these projects into your lives and then its up to you.

And yes, am getting my own hands muddied up in projects that will help me understand myself what I hear and see from others and contribute in a tangible form to the young people of the future and their teachers.

 

Yep. There’s much more. But for now, thank you all you readers for your patience and loyalty in returning to a space which was silent for a while. Nope. Am not giving up but changing to suit the times we live in. And it will change again and again. Wishing you will join me on a rather special journey in our lifetime.

 

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