The trays blurred in front of my face, cheap plastic containers made holy with the most beautiful flower designs being passed hand to hand. The smell of incense curling through me while the drum beat its tattoo. I don’t believe in customs, but I do believe in culture. And I understood the paradoxical need for the two as I partook in the ata visi Buddha pooja. Though I personally prefer a more quiet experience, the pooja did resonate with me. Spending the time with SS, the closest thing to a mother I’ve ever had probably had a calming effect on me as well.
The alienation from my culture and traditions and the life of an pseudo-elitist has made me feel like a foreigner in my own country. Though I am still not and never will be a ‘religious’ person in the strict traditionalist sense, nor for that matter I guess a ‘true’ Sri Lankan I feel less foreign, more with my country now. If even for a bit, I found myself.
Times going by and I’m still wrestling. It’s strange the things that bring me up, a conversation with a friend (who incidentally now knows more about me than most people) brought things I have never talked about to the surface. 21 years is a long time to carry something within myself, getting it out felt good despite the constant fear of the possibility of alienation.
Today brought me closer to my blood, where my roots are and the shell is scouring off, one painful layer by layer.
I just hope the world holds up for me while I return to normality.
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