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Sri Lanka, The Pearl of The Indian Ocean is Every Vacationer's Paradise

Find out what Indians can learn from Sri Lankans.

Travel
| Contributor Content| UPDATED: August 24, 2017, 12:17 PM IST
Sri Lanka, The Pearl of The Indian Ocean is Every Vacationer's Paradise A tourist takes pictures of Buddha statues at a temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo courtesy: Reuters/ File pic)
Taking a trip to Sri Lanka as a sojourn before an annual visit home to India isn't really an ideal way to explore the country. Amidst the excitement of meeting family, friends, dinners, lunches, and the frenzied shopping, the memories of a beautiful trip can disappear as quickly as the setting sun on a beach. Still, there are some impressions on a place and its people that last. From turqoise waters, golden sandy beaches, the tea estates of misty hills, the wildlife safaris in rainforests, the ancient Budhist ruins, the Dutch fort in Galle to the colonial architecture in Colombo are all packed tightly on a small island just off India's southern tip. This beautiful island, rightly called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean is every vacationer's paradise. But this article is not about where to eat, what to see and what to do over there. It is a few interesting thoughts on some of the things that Indians could learn from Sri Lankans plus a few we needn't.

The one on top of the list is cleanliness. The first thing that draws your attention when you reach Sri Lanka is the familiarity of things around, the roads, the shops, the people and the colonial past. It feels like India, only a lot cleaner. How do they do that? This isn't a highly developed first world country. Its pint size economy is fueled by nothing more than a shipping port and tourism. It has to be something more than the instilled discipline of people living there. Cleanliness must be a strong priority of the government that goes much beyond the lip service and grand photo op campaigns we are used to seeing in India over the years. It's high time our leaders studied their model of local governance, which has limited resources like us and does an efficient job than going on study trips to rich western world.

Another topic on civic sense closer to cleanliness is people obeying traffic rules. What a delight to the eyes was this sight in Colombo, vehicles stopping for pedestrians at a zebra crossing that has no traffic lights on a super busy street! A double delight to see the similar in an obscure village! Now this certainly has a lot to do with discipline and respect for rule of law. Compare that to the fact that cities in India have often seen zebra crossings disappear whenever new roads are laid on top of existing ones. The contractors don't even bother to paint them anymore. Quite a cost saver, actually.

Everybody knows the sub-continent loves cricket. Indians are often accused of neglecting other sports because of the cricket madness. Sri lankans don't just love cricket, they seem to breathe it. The hotel staff was glued to the television watching English county cricket like it was the world cup. Can only imagine the frenzy over the on going India-Sri Lanka series. Whether you are a cricket fan or you hate cricket would determine your take on this. But, here is the thing we are better off not learning from Sri Lankans, how to make dal, dosas or desserts. Don't get me wrong, Sri lankan food is flavourful and calls for a blog post of its own. Kotu Roti, Chicken curry, egg hoppers, pol sambol (coconut chutney)and fish curry are some delicious dishes out there. But when it comes to desserts, let's just say it is an innings defeat for them. The ubiquitous Watalappan doesn't even compare to our Gulabjamun.

(Written by: Soni Cheepala)
First Published: August 24, 2017, 12:17 PM IST
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