2018 Mar 29
Ah, Kandy. The crux of cultural heritage, seated quaintly in the central province, surrounded by lush mountains and beautiful scenery. It’s like no other part of Sri Lanka and it’s for this reason that it’s quite so often depicted on postcards and tourist advertisements as the ideal getaway for the urban city dweller.
The people, like the landscape, are just as uniquely situated in their temperament. If you’re born and bred in the mountains, you can’t disagree that there is perhaps a lot that sets you apart from anyone who has grown up on the coast, or up North. Here’s a run-down of things that you might agree, sets you apart from the rest:
1. The cold doesn’t bother you
Between November and January, the temperature drops as far as 10 degrees Celsius, and if you’ve ever had friends or family over from Colombo during this time, its highly possible that they would visit you with about 3 layers of clothing on (at the least). You would stand there in your shorts, puzzled as to why their torso is inflated like that of a stuffed animal.
Kandy is a small town. Much to your convenience (or chagrin), everyone knows everyone and everyone’s cousin. So, its highly likely that a short trip to the market, would really be that short.
You’re bound to run into someone you know, and a small conversation about your general health has most probably expanded to involve your dog’s health, your neighbour’s new job and the failings of the current presidential regime.
Again, (you really can’t stress this enough) Kandy town is small – you can walk from one end to another without really a loss of breath. If you were to take a vehicle however, it would be an entirely different story.
Kandy traffic is almost as bad as Colombo traffic, if not worse. Since the town is so small, the roads get congested pretty easily during rush hour. But you’re prepared. You’ve calculated the exact time it would take to get you to work or school, (plus time lost in traffic, plus a short stop at Devon and a stop at the temple.) You’re more than prepared. Unless, of course, you’re taking the bus.
For anyone visiting Kandy for the first time, the crossroads are an absolute nightmare. There are so many, they all look same and the surrounding old structures that also look the the same, really don’t help.
You’re not too happy to admit it, but even though you’re native to Kandy, there’s a high probability that you have – at least once your life – gotten the cross roads in Kandy town mixed up.
The phrase ‘Kandy is asleep by seven’ is a direct jab at your dignity. Although, you most probably did agree with the phrase in the past, it’s quite cliché and out dated now. With gradual urbanization, new cafes and hang out spots are opening (and staying open till late) in and around Kandy town.
It’s a very touchy subject, and you would advise your peers to become more educated before they run around throwing such sensitive phrases around.
If you can drive in Kandy, you can drive anywhere. You know how to navigate hilly areas like an expert, and it’s almost rare that you would find yourself unable to drive through narrow roads and windy bends.
And its most likely that if you ever do see a vehicle struggling around Kandy, it would most probably have a WP number plate – rarely a CP.
7. You’re proud of your legacy and where you come from
The “Kandyans are proud” stereotype doesn’t really get you all riled up. You know for a fact that whether or not you uphold that stereotype, there are people – more specifically the older generation – who do. Most families in Kandy do have a rich legacy and this is carried on though the conservative values they uphold.
You won’t apologize for seeming too proud about where you’re from. After all, the rich culture and the scenic beauty of Kandy are enviable things.