Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sri Lanka - Around the tea plantation

We did a lot of walking around the plantation and the surrounding countryside.  It was very quiet and people were very friendly.
There is a river running through the estate which provides 3 swimming areas, the waterfall, the serentity pool and the spa.  Andrew had a lovely swim.

Note the middle small picture where the force of the water threatened to wash his ears off.

Walking around the countryside we came through a labour line and found small children playing cricket on a small patch of ground

Following the sound of the loud hailer commenting on the game we found the full blown cricket match

Later we met some boys walking home who had been playing cricket.  They asked if we spoke Tamil - we don't but we do speak the international language of mime/charades.

The Hill Tamils are not 'related' to the Tamil tigers of the north.  The hill Tamil came from India as workers on the coffee/rubber/tea plantations from the 1830s onwards.  In the 1970s large numbers were sent back to India, while others were allowed to take Sri Lankan citizenship.  But today it is estimated that of 900,000 hill Tamil there are 100,000 who have no citizenship of any country.  We were told that in recent time the birth registration books were being brought to the area.  This means at least the current/next generation have a chance of having a citizenship document and all the rights that goes with that.

We also met a lovely pair of children on their way home from school in their white school uniforms.  It is a long walk to the nearest village.  When I took their photo as they were approaching they were all smiles. (note the big kid smiling in the background)
 When I asked if I could take their photo, the 2nd photo was a much more formal expression.

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