When Worlds Collide #83: Exploring City Life in Lankan Imagination

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday broadsheet newspaper on 15 September 2013

What makes real cities?

Beyond urban infrastructure and administrative designations, what turns an urban area into a city proper? Is it bohemian lifestyle, bustling nightlife, a certain defiance of authority, secularism or something else? How are these qualities nurtured, and by whom – the elite, merchant class, artistes or intellectuals?

I posed these harmless questions in a column last April, arguing: “A city, at its most basic, is a collective state of mind. And by that philosophical definition, we cannot find a single city in today’s Sri Lanka!”

I also asked: what made Anuradhapura a great (and proper) city of the ancient world? And how come subsequent seats of government all failed to match that high standard?

I received some predictable reactions. What’s wrong with villages, I was asked. (Nothing —…

View original post 1,204 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: