If you celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, I hope you were blessed with a safe and generous festive season surrounded by all your loved ones
In the lead up to Avurudu it felt like utter chaos around all the major retail hubs, with many scrambling with their Avurudu preparations and plans. I got myself well away from the hustle-and-bustle prior to Avurudu, and even started my celebrations early!
In case you were wondering, I had a wonderful Avurudu - kind of a mixture of all the Avurudu ingredients plus a little time-out for myself as well. It was also my first Avurudu where I wasn't in Colombo, so that was also a pleasant change.
One of the treats I enjoyed this year was spending time with friends and enjoying the Avurudu games. It was really fun to watch the kids take part in an assortment of games and singing competitions.
And, I can safely admit I ate more than my fair share of festive food throughout the new year celebratory season... from kiribath to Avurudu sweets, curries, cakes and more... I love the generosity that comes with Avurudu - people sharing a ton of food, exchanging gifts and sharing time together.
This year I had fun trawling the shops and stalls around Kandy for some good firecrackers and sparkly lights. Together with my friends, I launched my fair share of them over a few nights!
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You would have to be living under a rock not to know that Sri Lanka won the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup.
You could say it's been long-awaited and that wouldn't be an understatement considering their win back in 1996, under the captaincy of Arjuna Ranatunga.
Most Sri Lankan supporters would have a purely patriotic reason for their joy over winning another ICC World Cup. But in my case, it's not because I live in Sri Lanka nor that I'm Sri Lankan (because I'm not!)
In fact, I've been an avid supporter of Sri Lankan cricket for quite some time. Mostly, it's the unorthodox talent of Sri Lankan batsmen and bowlers, and the delight that comes with watching any match where Sri Lanka is playing. Undoubtedly, Sri Lanka has and will continue to play some very entertaining cricket.
Congratulations and many pats on the back to the ENTIRE Sri Lankan Cricket squad that made the 2014 T20 World Cup win for Sri Lanka.
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Around this time of year in Sri Lanka it gets pretty hot and humid. It can seem like there is no respite, particularly around Colombo and the south, from the heat. If and when it rains, the end result is often more humidity!
I've been making use of some of the local knowledge about food and drink to survive the heat. Apart from taking more showers to cool off... though admittedly, if you're taking a shower anytime between midday and 4pm it feels like a hot shower (due to the external water tanks being heated by the sun) and offers no help at all!
Drinking thambili or king coconut water really does help you to cool down. Locals advise to drink during the day rather than in the evening. I also tend to request the thambili that has flesh to eat. Both the flesh and water from thambili offers great nutritional value as it nourishes and purifies the body.
The other food item I've introduced to my diet is under-ripe anamalu bananas. Sri Lanka has a wide variety of bananas like kolikuttu, alukehel, suwadel, and ambulkehel to name a few. I particularly like the flowery-flavored red bananas that are grown here. Anamalu apparently offers many dietary remedies, including cooling the body. Again, it is recommended to eat during the daytime.
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An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 1 on what it's like living as an expat in SL
An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 2 on local attitudes, dual pricing, behaviors
An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 3 on police force, corruption and stories
An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 4 on garbage collection, waste and recycling
An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 5 on the case for expat fatigue
An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 6 on miscellaneous encounters at the post office, around the neighborhood, Mt Lavinia Beach and more
An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 7 on New Year celebrations, firecrackers and dodgy doctors