Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Expat Sri Lankans: Negativity, quirks and silly behavior

Expat Sri Lankans are a quirky bunch - I say this in the kindest possible way. I have the pleasure of knowing quite a few from living and working alongside them in different cities abroad; meeting them through friends and colleagues on my travels and exchanging funny stories; and coming into contact via social media.

The other day I was trying to categorize them for my mother, who was trying to understand this conversation that was unfolding between a group of friends. Truth be told, most of that conversation flew over my mother's head, but it got me thinking... I tackled one particular issue regarding expat Sri Lankans in an earlier blog post on Sri Lanka's brain drain and the question of whether educated or skilled expats would ever return "home" to Sri Lanka. As fascinating as this issue is, when I consider a few questions and comments triggered by friends, colleagues and my mother, I started to ponder more about the general attitudes and behaviors of expat Sri Lankans I know and/or have come across.

I mean no disrespect, but I think it makes for interesting reading, particularly to local and expat Sri Lankans.

My reasons for describing expat Sri Lankans as quirky is primarily due to the existence of more than a few quirks associated with:

  • how some expat Sri Lankans view Sri Lanka from abroad; 
  • the kind of things that get seem to get disowned along the way (i.e. language, culture); and 
  • how some expat Sri Lankans behave when visiting the island

I'm generalizing, so don't get your knickers in a twist. Well not yet!

You might well feel like throwing the kitchen sink at me once you read the rest of this post...
But my intention isn't to stir the pot, just to share some of my observations and thoughts (yet again). If you're an expat Sri Lankan reading this, it might well be about you, or, you might be one those lucky exceptions...

** Please note, the full blog post has been removed as parts of the blog content will be edited for inclusion in an upcoming publication by the author. More information will be made available on the Adventures in a Tuk-Tuk Blog in due course **


Anonymous said...

Nice post Eva! I love your posts. You are really capable of understanding the mindset of Sri Lankans and our society despite being a foreigner. I'm very happy that you live in Sri Lanka.

Eva Stone said...

Thanks. Appreciate the blog love! I'm happy to be warmly received here. Best wishes

Maryanne Kooda said...

I think Sri Lanka is like that, its either you love it or hate it, and many who leave it, grow to look down on it. I really do understand where they are coming from. Each person experiences the country differently.
I for example fell in love with Sri Lanka and moved here seven years ago from Nigeria and has still not yet decided if i love it or hate it...LOL

Eva Stone said...

Hi Maryanne, it's probably true of most places... loving it or hating it. I think most who stay love, while those that go, or stay gone... veer towards the dislike/hate. In many ways that works out well for those who want to live here. I agree... each person definitely experiences the country differently! Same thing happened to me, like you when I initially visited here. And still, there are some days it feels like a roller-coaster. BUT, more often than not I love it here ;-) Thanks for your comments

Kerri said...

"the noticeable arrogance and unnecessary posturing. They behaved as if they were snooty foreigners (Lol!); pointedly spoke in English even though some of their relatives clearly weren't fluent" Can totally relate to this post!! It made my sri Lankan hubby and I laugh. We always laugh when staying in Sri Lankan hotels and at the breakfast buffet these types insist on cornflakes and toast for breakfast and make a big show of it to anyone who will watch as if the idea of traditional SL breakfast is abhorrent..lol

Eva Stone said...

Hi Kerri, glad you and your SL hubby found some humor in the blog post. Glad to hear you can relate! It's been awhile since I wrote this. I skimmed over it again and it made me chuckle ;-)

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