Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Avurudhu Wishes to you all
I wish all my readers a blessed and prosperous New Year and like so many who have wished me, hope that our country will see the light and pursue an honest path to peace and prosperity for ALL and not a select few.
I have been by myself in Minneriya from the 9th as my staff have all gone to their home villages for the Avurudhu season and have not yet returned, as there has not been a bus service, contrary to all the pronouncements in the media that special buses and trains have been laid out. Another reason to be totally skeptical in Sri Lanka on what the official news media, be it newspapers or tv says and we in Sri Lanka must rely on blogs for the real news. Sadly, the blogging community within Sri Lanka appear to me, and forgive me if I am making the wrong generalization, to be composed of intellectual poets if they are female seeking an audience for their output, or idle chatter about some inanimate object if they are male. Of course there are exceptions to this rule and I am merely trying to encourage a few real world contributions, to make up for the void created by the media disinformation both by the private and state media.
In today’s village traditions, sadly the raban and avurudhu games are reserved for the special fairs organized in my locality and not the spontaneous home-grown events of yesteryear. In my neighborhood, every auspicious time, be it during the day or at the dead of night seems to be heralded by a cacophony of lighting fire-crackers, disturbing the peace of the frightened animals as well as the domestic pets. Somehow the sound of the fire-crackers were louder this year than in the past. I suppose it is the technology stupid! Don’t forget fire-crackers and fireworks are different things, it is the sound that we go for in this case.
Sadly to me the worst aspects of this season, watching the goings on around me, was an excessive consumption of alcohol, especially moonshine as all the liquor selling outlets have been closed since the 8th. This is followed by the card games and I don’t know the English words but a few other games played on the bare patches all for chance and I personally know people who have lost a lot of money, which I would have thought for them would be a fortune.
Accordingly, young and old have been involved in this but one tradition that still remains is that the girls and their mothers have been busy laboring away in their kitchens turning out some of the most delectable eats, traditional to this season, with mung kavun, konde kavum and kokis being my personal favorites. Obviously it is unheard of here to serve a guest anything other than what was made in your hearth, and I have certainly had my fill. The other tradition is to go to one’s neighbors and relatives, bearing eats along with the obligatory Kolikuttu, hopefully from your own home garden.
Being here alone, I was spared doing the cooking, but my neighbors took care of my food and many visited me with so many eats, that I had to give away most of them, not wanting to see them go to waste once the three dogs and cat had their fill. I have also had to take care of the two cows and the bull, and have my paddy fields all ploughed up.
The daily view while I bathe in the water, the waters eye view