A tribute to Sri Lankans born before the 1980s – How did they survive?

Staff Correspondent | Published on September 7, 2011 at 4:18 am

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO WERE BORN IN SRI LANKA IN THE 1930’s,1940’s, 1950’s & 1960’s! (and maybe even in the early 1970’s!).

As for the rest of you, this is for your information to read & enjoy!

First, we survived being born to mothers who did not have medical checkups while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

They took aspirin, ate coconut, raw egg products, and processed meat, tuna from a can, untreated water, and milk straight from the cow — and didn’t get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer…

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the hitching rides with anyone in the neighborhood!

As children, we rode in cars with no seat belts or air bags. We drank water from the garden hose and the tap at the top of the lane (NOT bottled water!). We shared one bottle of soft drink with four friends and NO ONE died or got sick!

“Take-away” (“Fast food” was patties, rolls, pastries and vaddais; With crusty bread (Malu pan or Rose Pan ) (No Pizza Hut, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nan do’s).

Even though all the shops closed at 8.00pm and most of them didn’t open on the weekends, somehow we didn’t starve!

We could collect old drink bottles, Sunday news papers and cash them in at the Bothal kade and buy toffees, chocolates, Bubble Gum and some Fire crackers to have fun with (and no one got blown up!)

We ate prawn vaddais, Chilli raw mango, pineapple & boiled Kadala (often full of dust) from street vendors without needing Pepto Bismol ..

We ate sponge cakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because……. WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!! We would leave home on Sat day morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us.. And we were O.K. During our vacation, our parents never saw us the whole day, not even for meals as we ate at whatever house we were at during mealtimes.

No one thought of compensation or asking for money.

We would spend hours building our Kite’s or go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we had forgotten the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played with matchbox cars.

We played cricket on the streets amidst the cars, & hide and seek using the whole neighbourhood as our playground, and no one complained.

Our homes were always open & the car keys were in the car.

We did not have Television, DVDs,&nbs play stations, Nintendo Wii , X-box E360’s, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY, no video/DVD films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms, but we had such imaginations and we never found ourselves bored……….

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents…

Only the girls pierced their ears!

We shooed away flies hovering over our food, and probably swallowed worms in our fresh fruits, and the worms did not live in us forever – we just built stronger immune systems!

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! We didn’t have to arrange play dates or make appointments in advance to see our friends.

Many of our mothers didn’t work and we survived on one salary… BUT there was always food on the table.

Rugby and Cricket had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment… Imagine that! Getting into the team was based on MERIT, not because of connections..

We got rulers landing on our hands or wherever the teacher could reach, and they didn’t get reported to the School Board!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law & we were punished a second time when we got home!

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And we survived and became contributing members of society despite it all.

The present day young are able to enjoy whatever they do now because we oldies laid your foundations.


Share this with others who have had the same fortune before our lives got over legalized for “our own good”.

















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A tribute to Sri Lankans born before the 1980s – How did they survive?

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO WERE BORN IN SRI LANKA IN THE 1930’s,1940’s, 1950’s & 1960’s! (and maybe even in the early 1970’s!). As for the rest of ...