Monday, March 30, 2009

Green Green Grass of Home...

Many of our relatives and friends question our decision to go back to Sri Lanka. Here we are armed with a PR in a developed country (a thing many a Sri Lankans would give their right hand for) wanting to go back to poor old Sri Lanka. They assume that anything is better than back home. Yes, the grass will always be greener on the other side. For us however, happiness doesn't constitute in money, comforts or the assumed prestige of living in another country. For all those skeptics--apart from a few reasons like roots, culture and religion here are our main reason for going back.

Love and happiness- yes you heard me right, home is where our kids will find an abundance of love. Love that cannot be replaced by money or comforts. Love that we believe is essential for them to grow into healthy, complete human being. Our kids will be surrounded by the love from her Grandparents, from Puncha (My sister -H1's favourite ever relative), from numerous aunts, and uncles and imagine the fun times she will have with her cousins.

All those happy times she will have visiting her grandparents - yep...imagine the fun and the different experiences that will enrich her life. My parents live in Kandy, where she will bask in the beauty of the hill capital. Hubby's parents live in Matara where there is sun, sea and sand. And we plan to drop her off during school holidays in either of the place so that she will have the best holidays ever.

Simple reasons...but which we believe are essential for her to grow up with.

And admit it. How many of you abroad start the day reading the Daily Mirror or The Island online instead of the local papers? How many of you press the refresh button every ten minutes to see if there are updates from back home? How many dream of the familiar things you can't get anywhere else in the world like ambul thiyal, malu paan and Astra margarine. Heck, I even miss the pot holes on the roads. Many people have the ability to immerse them selves in the country they chose as home. For us, there is a constant longing to go back. And for all those people who think anywhere outside the country is heaven, who ask us to think carefully of our decision, who say there are no opportunities back home (opportunities are what you create, not what's handed to you I always say by the way), I say look again carefully at the grass on your side. It maybe greener than you thought. You might have missed it for the fact that you were too busy looking at the other side to notice.


  1. I like your blog- its a sequential account of your cute bub growing up.
    But I was quite interested in your views on why you want to go back to Sri lanka. I kinda understand the "grass is greener on the other side"..but when I read that y'all are living in Singapore, I understand why you guys wanna move back!!No chewing gum etc.. I have lived my whole life in Australia, and love going for holidays to SL- but I dont think I could live in SL forever..I guess my situation is different-all my cousins, relos are there is plenty of love here..

    wish you all the best!

  2. Well done Sue.. u have put it across superbly... I guess many people dont understand how u feel and what u want in life... its the choice of each individual but i totally...200% agree with u.. :)

  3. Yay! :) :) I'm so happy for Nethmi :)

  4. Thanks Anon. I think it's individual preferences and their own situation. Like you say you've been in Ausi all your life, so that's where you are bound to call home. And maybe if we can move our parents and siblings lock stock and barrel to where ever we chose to live, we might sing a different tune. Luckily for us we are fortunate enough to provide Nethmi with the same kind of life style we'd have anywhere else. Maybe that makes a deference in our attitude.
    Chewing gum wasn't the reason for moving back at all ;o)

    Udari dearest...that's why I call you a friend ;o)

    Thanks Dee Cee...we are just counting the days...

  5. Wow brave but right choice. When we moved from SL my kid was ten years old. Four years on the values she learnt in Sri Lanka still stay with her and she will never forget her culture. So good and great move for Nethmi.
    However I hope you have left your options of maybe moving back to Singapore when it's time for her to school? You should know better than me that education in Singapore is one of the best in the world?
    When I first moved to London and still, I would kill to go back to the motherland. The only reason I stay is that the kid is doing so well in school and I can't deny her that opportunity.

  6. Thanks Ruhanie and ViceUnVersa,

    Education system in Sin is great but too taxing on the kids. There are parents asking me if I do past papers with Nethmi and she is four year old!!! Neighbor refuses her five year old to come and play if he has not done the home work. And from very little they segregate the kids into high performers, middle and so on. There is no chance for late bloomers I feel. Besides education is in SL is good enough I feel. Arn't our kids on par with the rest of the world when they do go abroad for further studies? I mean, there is nothing stopping Nethmi doing just that for higher studies but like you say she will have a good value system instilled in her by that time to guide her through.

  7. Fair enough. I always argue that if you have enough money to buy the things you need, you will be happy any where in the world. And where better than with your people, family and in your culture.
    Unfortunately I don't have enough funds to finance a proper education for the kid in Sri Lanka, in UK she got in on achievement, had to sit for two tests and an interview! :)
    All the best with the move!

  8. Hi surani

    Nice post. This is why i keep putting off any migration talk. with all the problems blah blahs nothing like home!

    All the very best!

  9. That was a *beautiful* post, Surani. Gordon liked it too! I've never quite been in your shoes, in that I have never moved from Canada, but I have lived in four provinces and can say I am glad to be back in Ontario. We moved all around the country and ended up four hours from where we born, albeit in a completely different setting (countryside vs. Toronto.)

    As for Sri Lanka, you might know from my travel site that it was our favourite country to visit EVER, and we intend to go back. I still tell anyone and everyone how much we loved Sri Lanka (even though Gordon still can't pronounce "Sri" right!), and how much we want to go back. Not only is it beautiful and magical, the people are really special. We had the most fantastic time there, and I love the food too!

    There are people here in Canada who have every material thing you can imagine: a great education system, big homes, cars, big-screen TVs, free healthcare, peace, etc. etc. and yet are still miserable and unappreciative. It's clear to me that "having stuff," beyond basic necessities, isn't a sure recipe for happiness. But I do think connecting with people, and in your case an extended family, is very important.

    We really enjoyed visiting Singapore, and for many I'm sure it's a great place to be, but we found it rather lacking a soul.

    The one thing I wish for your country is lasting peace, and I hope that happens soon.

    And Kandy, so beautiful!!

    (this got long, sorry!)

  10. Yep Santhoshi..home is where the heart is!

    And Kanatolee, like I said do visit SL again and I'll gladly have you and Gordon over :o) if you can bring nayomi along that be great too ;o) We wish for peace every single day too...and hopefully it will come sooner than we all ever imagined.

  11. Surani, I'm not sure how Naomi will feel about 30 or so hours in transit... :) But I'll ask her.

    From all the news we get here, it does sound to me like perhaps peace is around the corner. One can only hope, eh?

    Now I am hungry for SL food. Ottawa has a couple of Sri Lankan restaurants. Maybe I can get a fix! One is quite good, the other so-so!

  12. Totally agree with you on the point that there is no place better than home. I don't want to raise my kids in the future in a country with no relatives especially when I'm so close to my relatives.

  13. Totally agree with you Surani, What is life away from your roots and even we feel very guilty of taking away the loving touch of seeyas and achchas for our daughters.... skype is the only substitute till we make the annual trip back home... I wish we were back at home...

  14. hey Lucky gal didn't know you read my blog :o) technology does make it a little easier ne?

  15. True , I dont want to be raising my child in thee future away from family . I miss junping from house to house every weeekend with the huge number of relatives I have in Sg

  16. Well said Su! That's a great decision not many would go for. People are more concerned over money, prestige and materialistic things nowadays. There's no place like home.. the place where you were born and bred.. ^__^