When Worlds Collide #63: Looking for Real Cities in Sri Lanka

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 21 April 2013

I enjoyed the mid April traditional New Year holidays for a very practical (and selfish) reason.

When much of the country shuts down, traffic congestion on Colombo and suburban streets disappears, as do crowds in most public spaces. For a few days, we natives of Colombo and suburbs have our city for ourselves…

Curiously, though, many friends and colleagues pity me for not having a village (‘gama’) to return to. When one called me ‘rootless’, I protested. Born and raised in Kotte, just south-east of Colombo city, I’m attached to the place. My roots are just as real as anybody else’s…

A city-dweller’s loyalty to her place of origin can be just as authentic as any villager’s. Sadly, this isn’t widely appreciated in Sri Lanka where too many urbanites harbour real –…

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