We miss travelling tremendously. Especially for Anna, staying in one place is a challenge, considering that nobody knows how long this will last. One thing that helps us is to focus on whatever new opportunities this situation can bring and another is to actually come back to those little #moments of our journey which were always too many to really share with you properly. We'd like to offer you a new series of posts, which will explore those little memories, imprinted strongly in our hearts, sometimes captured with photos, too fleeting to give them the focus they deserve. They got lost in the constant flow of more significant events. But maybe life is happening there, in those tiny heres and nows, in between a milestone and the next, in between the dates, the interviews, the rush.
Let's start with this photo shot in Mirissa, Sri Lanka. One of our favourite taken in that region, in just one shot it tells more about the country than a river of words. A picture which in the nearby south of India, maybe beside Goa, wouldn't be possible – conventions about the dress code and which parts of the body can be shown are much stricter. But in this moment cultures and believes have a chance to coexist, without much buzz. Starting from the right – Westerners enjoying the water with bare skin, covering only a tiny part, according to the standard of their own countries. They follow them even here, in a far away place with completely different rules and contexts. They take more space, you can see their individualism plastically manifesting in the distance between each other. Youngsters, on holiday for some days, enjoying whatever an „exotic” country can offer them. They are in the most touristic part of Sri Lanka, and they make us think about the many tourists we met that come here with little to no will to get a deep understanding of the reality they are visiting. On the left a Muslim family; covered as usually, but close to the see lighten up a little, they reveal their feet and calves. It's the south Asian version of Muslim dresses, full of colours and life. They are all women, probably from the same family. They enjoy the see, but with sort of modesty, they don't take much space, they don't rush to the water too fast. Last, we have a pair, probably brother and sister, maybe cousins, representing the Hindu reality. They seem quite at ease in the water, getting in with their everyday clothes, at least knee-length. They are close to each other, not taking too much space – in this part of the world space is fairly limited and individualism is not highly regarded. It is the community that count, collectivity in the way they live, they make decisions, they build relations.
Just aside of this first scene there was a man with a little girl. The Man - dark skin, rather local - and the girl – white and blond, coming from a different context but very comfortable in the place she was. You could see they have a very close relation, the girl hugs the man, calls him to come to her, he protects her with tenderness. Considering the colours of the skin it's not very probable they are from the same family. The small girl, maybe 3 years old, tried to build a relation with other children around, they run together after a flying toy, screaming and laughing a lot. She doesn't know yet the unwritten division between races, cultures and religions we see on the first picture. For her it doesn't matter much, she is the queen of her world and she welcome in it anybody who wants to come.
Just few minutes sitting on that beach, at a distance from all those people, was enough to generate so many thoughts about ourselves, our reality, colonialism, post-colonialism and new colonialism, about the differences between us and above all what we have in common. And about Sri Lanka, where people are allowed to be as they are - which is already quite a step toward finding a common language. We are not there yet, divided by our own believes, by difficulties in seeing beyond our own context, rather coexisting parallelly (with a clash every now and then) than together. But there is a space for meeting. There is always space.