There was a long period where I didn’t really go on holiday because of education and we didn’t have time, then ever since last year September it’s been constant holidays!
I’ve just got back from the motherland for my cousin’s wedding which I was there for a total of 3 weeks. Honestly, if you haven’t gone to Sri Lanka before I thoroughly recommend it.
Spent 2 weeks in Jaffna where my mother and father are both from, however due to my father being Hindu and mother being Catholic staying at their houses are both very different lifestyles.
During the first week of my stay was the biggest chariot festival in Jaffna known as Nallur festival. It was my first experience and was definitely one to remember! Every day was a different festival more or less. Started off with Saparam which basically was the turning on of the lights. Followed by Poongavanam which was honestly amazing as seen in picture 2. Last but not least was Jaffna thair which was so PACKED. I’ve never seen so many people in one space. The smashing of the coconuts, people carrying the God on their shoulders, it was a sight I’ll never forget. For my dad it took him back to his childhood days when he used to carry the God effortlessly, he carried the God for one last time for old times sake.
Now started the wedding preparations.. In the Sri Lankan culture you have certain rituals which have to be carried out before the wedding. In the lead up to the wedding, each day is something different. Ponnurukku, long story short the bride’s family came to the house to eat and then the groom’s side went to the bride’s side to eat. After this, decorating the house and venue commenced as well as family pooja’s at our home temple of Sri Venkatesa Varatharaja Perumal.
At this temple is a bit of ancestry as there is a gold lion statue which was actually donated by my great great grandad and can still be seen there today!
Then came the wedding – colourful, traditional and vegetarian. Overall was a good day!
After this, some days were spent at my mothers’ house in Mirusuvil where meat was allowed. We visited my grandparents house which has now been converted to a hotel. The views here was mesmerising.
From Jaffna we headed to Colombo, the city of Sri Lanka. Beef curry, seafood (which is so so fresh) , mutton curry and chicken curry, you name it …I was eating it. I also lost my Poker and Roulette virginity at Casino Marina and turns out I’m actually pretty good at gambling. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…but hey I won 4000 rupees! They also make their cocktails pretty strong so if you’re looking to get completely wasted, Colombo is your place. The beaches such as Mount Lavinia are something you see on Google images, truly breathtaking.
Whilst in Colombo, there was a Buddhist festival known as Poya which is a public holiday. Dressed in white I went to a buddhist temple for the first time and it was definitely an experience. Buddhism is a religion that branches off from Hinduism, so in many of the temples you see pictures of Ganesh. Within the temples are beautiful gold buddha statues as well as lots of flowers..so if you ever go to Lanka make sure you check out Gangaramaya temple!
I didn’t get to really explore Sri Lanka this time round however we did go on a little tour around Colombo in the car with my cousins. There is a place called the arcade which actually used to be a mental asylum in the late 1800s but is now a reformed shopping centre filled with restaurants, bars and shops. It’s architecture is beautiful and has a british feel to it.
Despite the controversy you must go to Pizza Hut when in Colombo because it is honestly way better than the Pizza Hut in UK. I had punjabi mutton and hot & spicy and it was so fresh, tasty and not that expensive!
I will miss my niece constantly asking me for my phone to use my snapchat filters, catching up on all the tamil movies I haven’t watched in the past decade, making late night nescafe coffee with my cousin and MILO! Also spending time with my ‘new’ canadian cousins who are the best thing to come out of Berry!
Hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into my holiday