Sep 28, 2013

Long Handle Brooms

What's so special about long handle brooms ? Apart from being easy to use and less damaging to the user's back muscles, they are not commonly seen in South Asia. Most of the brooms I've seen in India and Bangladesh have short handle. The problem with this kind of broom is that, the sweeper has to crouch or bend down low to sweep. The long handle version on the other hand allows one to sweep the floor without bending down. Being able to use both hands allows one to leverage more force and a wider range of motions as well. In Sri Lanka however, the long handle brooms were common. It could be the topic of an interesting sociological research to find out what influenced the adaptation or retention of short/long handle brooms in certain countries in the area while neighbors were shifting towards a different sweeping technology.
Long handle brooms being sold in Negombo

May 10, 2013

Shopping for Souvenir in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka offers a good bunch of interesting souvenirs. Masks, leather goods, batiks, wood curving and metal ware are a few to name.

Lakmedura has a diverse collection of items at decent prices. Masks, batik, wood curving etc. are good in Lakmedura, but the leather collection was found to lag behind the rest.

Laksala seemed to have almost the same quality of products as did Lakmedura. However, the prices in Laksala were a bit cheaper. The Gurulu masks in Laksala were the best among all souvenir shops; had better curving as well as intricate paint job. At a higher price, of course. Besides masks, they had good collection of metal ware.

There is a certain Kandyan Arts Association in Kandy. Its located by the lake, next to the Temple of Tooth. This place had the largest collection of wood curving as well as metal ware. The metal ware were exceptionally better than the other shops. Their collection of wood curving was the largest, but almost the same quality as others.

Best collection of leather goods were found in the souvenir shops along Lewis place in Negombo. Not all of these are genuine 100% leather. But the prices can be negotiated to compensate with the shortcoming.

Although batiks are somewhat ubiquitous, tasteful design or color combination is a bit rare. A shop in Negombo (forgot the name) had the best batik; a small but tasteful collection. Pretty good collection of batiks were also found in souvenir shops along the DS Senanayake Street, near the Temple of Tooth.

May 5, 2013


Hoppers are excellent local food available at local prices all over Sri Lanka. The local restaurants serve different kinds of hoppers throughout the day.

String hoppers

Apr 30, 2013

Rakshasa Masks

Rakshasa mask

Unique to the Sinhalese culture, the rakshasa masks expresses Sri Lanka's rich and vibrant cultural heritage.

Apr 29, 2013

President Rajapaksa

President Rajapaksa on billboards and bank notes

Sri Lanka's current president, Mahindra Rajapaksa appears to be actively seeking popularity and improvement of his image among his fellow countrymen. His face appears a lot in billboards, posters and even in poorly designed bank notes. The new 1000 LKR note features the president on one side while a badly done copy of a famous WWII sculpture adorns the other side. This note is quite low in aesthetic value compared to all the other bank notes in circulation.