I am inspired to write an article about where I used to live, Sri Lanka, because of what is happening there. If you are not aware, the country has been in great disarray recently. Things such as fuel and food shortages have been prevalent. I was lucky enough to have left a few years before everything started to go downhill. I lived there from the ages of six- to-nine (years two to five), and possibly some of the least pleasant things were foreshadowed by my childish mind. I do believe that there are some pleasant aspects of Sri Lanka, despite its still being a developing country. Preamble aside, I will briefly compare my impressions of Sri Lanka and Switzerland here.
Sri Lanka is a wildly different country from Switzerland. Sri Lanka is a bright and flowering culture, with traditional dances and beautiful celebrations in a kaleidoscope of colors. It is truly a joy to participate in these activities. The two main religions practiced in Sri Lanka are Buddhism and Hindi. In Buddhism, people believe in reincarnation and “The Golden Rule.” In Hindi, the spirit and soul of everything is a central belief. Holidays such as Diwali, a Hindu festival of life, are so much fun to take part in because it is warm and fun. I have very vivid memories of eating the curry, which tastes like nothing else. The food there is spicy in general, but not just in a hot way, it’s a richness of flavors, with seasoning used in their curries like tumeric, garam masala, ginger, and cinnamon. Wildlife flourishes everywhere. There are large beautiful trees filled to the brim with leaves, and lovely flowers such as the Blue Water Lily. Every morning when I woke up, I would hear the chirping of birds, especially the Sri Lankan New Year bird, formally known as the Asian Koel. Not only the different types of birdsong, but also many types of bugs, especially mosquitos. The buzz of mosquitos was always nearby, whether you were inside or outside. Although not a bug, geckos are extremely populous in Sri Lanka. If you walked outside at night onto your porch, you would probably find four or five geckos just laying there.
Switzerland is an entirely different story. If I were to imagine a color palette for Switzerland it would consist of beige, green, brown, light brown, and grey blue. Although those colors are very pleasing to the eyes, they are incredibly basic. All there seem to be here are assorted patches of farmland and an occasional small village that looks like it has just emerged from the 1800s. The stone buildings and large stretches of farmland give a very bucolic aesthetic that seems specific to Switzerland. As delicious as cheese is, it seems to be a main food group here. Though, there is also chocolate, which is very good. Overall, as much as I could complain, Switzerland is a lovely country to live in. Everything here is beautiful, especially the mountains and the natural “feel” of things. It’s streamlined and clean feeling, hugely contrasting to the hustle and bustle of Sri Lanka.
By Scarlett Bennett
(Featured image: Sigiriya Rock)