I grew up in Germany although I’m half Sri Lankan. After almost 20 years in Europe, I came to Sri Lanka, where I am currently living with my husband. Here’s a short take on what life lessons I think I’ve learned.
1) All that glitters is not gold.
I had been to this island—often called the Peal of the Indian Ocean—on holidays with my family during childhood and my teenage years. All the exotic smells, tastes, sights and sounds had been firmly etched into my mind. But I soon found out that settling down here was a different cup of tea altogether. What tourists behold as unspoiled landscapes, beautiful wildlife, endless beaches, and quaint buildings will often hide bad infrastructure, animals turning into pests, wilful weather, and houses that are anything but homes. Only by living here did I recognize poverty, inequality, civil upheaval, and environmental pollution. It has taught me to look beyond the surface, and to question things.
2) Have faith (in religion).
Before I came here, I had no real knowledge about Buddhism and wasn’t actively practicing my religion. That changed thanks to Sri Lankan customs and to my husband. People here still have faith, even blind faith. It can teach you that sometimes it’s best to hope and not to obsess over always being in control. I like it that here every full moon day is a public, bank and mercantile holiday reserved for Buddhist activities like listening to sermons, going to the temple and observing the Five Precepts.
3) Be grateful for what you have.
I never really considered myself blessed until I saw how much worse off I could be. With hundreds here living in misery, I realized how lucky I am: I have a wonderful husband. I can work from home by being a content writer and an author. I have a job I absolutely love. I am financially well off, and I have awesome friends all around the world.
4) Politicians are never to be trusted… In fact, nobody is ever to be trusted.
I don’t mean to step on anybody’s toes, but ever since coming here, I’m sick and tired of politics. There’s so much corruption and fraud present that it’d be enough for more than one country. Plus, I had to realize that almost everyone here—especially if in some important position or endowed with some kind of power—has two faces. I’ve never been a person who trusts others easily, and now I’m very careful who I open up to.
5) Cleanliness is next to godliness.
To an outsider things here might look very dirty, but that is only one layer. In truth, I am beginning to consider Asians as cleaner and cleanlier than Europeans. (Don’t stone me for stereotyping, I have a point to make in only a few words. *lol*) People here are always washing themselves, things or the house. If you keep in mind how little water some Sri Lankans have access to, it’s even more admirable how highly they value cleanliness.
About Devika Fernando
Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark is writing sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.
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