Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Tangalle Schools' Perahera

I'm taking a week off. Tomorrow, immediately after a Skype chat with students at an Australian school (via @whatedsaid web), I'll be heading north to the hill country. First stop will be Kandy where I'll be meeting up with Rani, a teacher whose husband died of cancer and whose two daughters were killed in the civil war here. She has two sons, one in London and the other in the US. She supports the schooling of fifty poor children in the predominantly Tamil NE of Sri Lanka from her meagre income and savings. I heard yesterday that she's sold her own home and is living in one room in order to afford to do this.

My visit will coincide with the middle of the famous Esala Perahera, or Festival of the Tooth, the tooth being the sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha.

After Kandy I'll continue south on the scenic railway towards Ella where there should be some good trekking, mountains to explore, vistas to view, and cool, fresh air to breathe.

I'll be catching the #32 bus from Tangalle to Colombo and then the #1 to Kandy. It'll take about seven and a half hours and I'm dreading it! There is a train which would probably be more civilised but it's slower and I have a late start so it's the bus for me.

Here are some photos taken back on June 22nd from my office window. It's a perahera (festival)  involving many of the local schools. Those children not performing stood in the sun for a good hour, intrigued by the slowly passing spectacle, and still had smiles at the end. Impressively well-behaved too!

Do you reckon that kids in your country would be allowed on the public highway with trees sprouting from their bicycle handlebars? Probably not, and I'm not sure about the educational value, but it looked great fun!


  1. Thanks for another glimpse into your world Clive. Safe travels and I look forward to the next edition !!!!

  2. Thanks for being a regular reader, Celia, and for commenting. My travels lasted only three days rather than the week I'd hoped for but I had a good mini-adventure nevertheless :)

  3. Amazing images!!! I am an Art Teacher in Minnesota and I'm teaching the kids a bit about perahera. I'm gathering information on it now and ran across your blog. I LOVE your blog. I would like to share some of your images with my kiddo's. Is that OK. The project we are doing is of Elephants and the decorations they wear in the parades.

    Feel free to check out what I'm doing in my classroom, and who we are by looking at my blog. Minimatisse.blogspot.com

    If you have any suggestions of how to teach my kids better about this subject, please feel free to email me at Nicholechahn@yahoo.com