2018 Sep 5
Growing up in Sri Lanka one tends to hear all kinds of news. How often do we hear people doing things and later such things being called “pissu wikara”? Almost every day we are exposed to a local story that leaves us with a chuckle of amusement or in a state of awe. However, here’s a list of people who have taken pissu to another level, some having gone ahead to break Guinness World Records while at it, ensuring their story lives on and gives the world a glimpse of what us Lankans are capable of.
1. Nalin and Nisansala’s Wedding
On the 8th of November 2013, at Avendra Garden Hotel Negombo, Nalin tied the knot with Nisansala. However, this couple took the phrase “Big Day” a little too literally. Their wedding party included 20 page boys, 23 flower girls, 25 best men and a staggering number of 126 bridesmaids. In doing so, the previous world record for the most number of bridesmaids (96) by a couple in Thailand was broken. The wedding was carried out with Sinhalese traditions and adjudged by an official of the Guinness World Records who was invited that day for the feat.
2. Theft on a bus
You may be under the impression that this was a regular pickpocketing case, and that it happens quite often. However, this is not your average kind of bus theft. On the 8th of March 2015, a passenger on a Matara – Colombo bus had stolen the keys from the bus while it was stopped at a halt on the way. The individual had tried to make a run for it but was fortunately caught up by the rest of passengers and had the keys taken back without much chaos caused.
3. Tribute to Michael Jackson
In the town of Ontario, Canada lives Suresh Joachim, who can only be described as a rather special kind of guy. He has broken more than 60 world records, in attempts to benefit underprivileged children around the world. Amongst other things, on the 11th of January 2006 Sri Lankan born Suresh Joachim decided to see how much ground he could cover in 24 hours– moonwalking like the king of pop. Within this period, he was able to moonwalk 49.25 km, right into the Guinness book of world records for the greatest distance moonwalked in 24 hours. Joachim’s first record attempt involved running in Colombo for at least a little bit every hour for 1000 consecutive hours. In his third attempt, he Joachim next balanced for 76 hours and 40 minutes at Viharamahadevi Park. Seriously, you should Google this guy.
4. Most number of t-shirts worn in an hour
Sanath Bandara, a bombing incident survivor, decided life is too short and had been trying to break a world record to get his name in the Guinness Book ever since his near-death experience. On the 22nd of December 2011, he succeeded at Hyde Park, Colombo where he put on 257 t-shirts, one over the other within one hour.
5. The leap of faith
In Sri Lanka, people tend to find the most intriguing sources of income. One of the wildest is that of a fellow Sri Lankan from Galle – Mr. Sampath. This daredevil cliff jumps into the ocean from a point 12m high into a relatively shallow part of the beach. He charges $20 and is even offered valuables from anyone who wants to see him dive, saying he doesn’t fear it one bit as he has been diving since he was only 10 years old.
6. Drunk Lankan Pilot
In August of 2016, a Sri Lankan pilot failed the greatest test of all – the breathalyzer test – and had his license suspended when he physically could not fly a plane from Frankfurt to Colombo, delaying the flight by a good 15 hours.
7. World’s Largest Cup
“World’s largest cup of what?” you may be wondering. It is none other than what our island is famous for- tea! Just when you thought your marketing department is doing a great job; in an attempt to relaunch the ‘VIVA’ brand, GlaxoSmithKline Sri Lanka brewed a 4000-liter tea cup with 64kg of tea, 164 kg of sugar and 875 kg of the VIVA malt drink – which was calculated to be equal to 32000 regular cups of tea! This took place on the 9th of October 2010 and was deemed a world record. The cup itself was red; made of steel with a thickness of 1 inch.
8. Making his point
On the Colombo – Galle train, passengers witness an individual swallowing not one, but two swords for their entertainment. This was done while the train was moving; with all its jolts, swings and jerks. Sword swallowing is a trick that requires quite a lot of practice and precision; which goes to show the extent Lankans would go to earn a living.
9. A “spicy” robbery
There had been 20 million rupees that was being transported to an ATM in Bulathsinhala, by a private security company on the 28th of July 2018. The guards on duty had been taken by surprise when a group of five thieves had assaulted them using nothing but chili powder! These individuals had then taken the money, out of which 10.6 was million was later recovered after their arrest.
10. Oh, Christmas tree?
Did Sri Lanka build the tallest Christmas tree in the world? Did we spend approximately US$80,000 on it? Sure. Did it actually promote religious harmony? Not really. Did it piss everyone off? Definitely.
We aim to build the tallest Christmas tree in the world, then haphazardly finish it off due to time constraints, and finally end up having an odd rocket looking thing poking out in the middle of Colombo. Leave it to Sri Lanka to do something absolutely futile and eccentric, and then not even do that properly.
11. Christmas with Tupac
Didn’t we Lankans pray that the Christmas tree would be the last of our unreasonable blunders for that year? However, the fundraiser called ‘Joy to the World 2016: A Festival of Music for Peace & Harmony’ had a much different prayer in store for us: a simply blessed piece written by our very own Tupac. An individual in the organizing committee had actually printed the wrong version of ‘Hail Mary’. This version was so wrong that it divinely read “Catch me Father please, cause I’m falling, in the liquor store”. Iconic.
All we can say to our fellow Sri Lankans is – keep doing you!