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Galle Diary

You can tell the Sri Lankans have moved on. No more headlines of people being blown up in buses...

Galle Diary
Galle Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Serendipitous

You can tell the Sri Lankans have moved on. No more headlines of people being blown up in buses. Instead, the newspapers talk about new SOS villages for war orphans and the government’s running battle with human rights watchdogs wanting to investigate war crimes, in between reports of a Colombo fashion week, a trade fair, a hugely popular litfest and a forthcoming music festival featuring top singers from across the world which is expected to attract thousands of people. Galle, where we are headed over the recently built expressway, is a festival destination like no other. The devastation wreaked by the tsunami is already a distant memory and the quaint 16th century fort built by the Dutch and frozen in time, thanks to being declared a unesco heritage site, is humming with tourists. Almost all the 400 houses in the fort have turned themselves into hotels or jewellery and anitique shops. Judging by the arrivals in January, the government is expecting the number of tourists to touch one million by the end of 2012. The majority, of course, are from West Europe: the combination of clean beaches, sun, heritage hotels and South Asian hospitality is hard to resist, I guess. The second highest are tourists from India: cheap airfares and hotels is a bargain we find equally hard to resist. There are over a hundred of us arriving from the US, Hyderabad, Delhi and Chennai for the other thing the Sri Lankans are getting good at: destination weddings. In the same week that my nephew is getting hitched, spread across three boozy days and nights of partying, outings and rituals, two more non-Sri Lankan couples are getting married in Galle.


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