Sri Lankans are known for a few specific things: the love for kiribath, the highest searches for ‘sex’ online, and their artery-popping ability to ask the most personal question in the same mannerism of commenting on the weather. A constant bane in the life of a Sri Lankan girl is walking into a social function and being harassed and prodded with questions that they are often too stunned to respond to.
You could have just renounced relationships forever, or found ‘The One’ – but these questions don’t stop. Mostly even though we know the answers to these questions, we’re just shocked that they are even asked out loud.
Today I thought of compiling some of the top seven questions, not related to just relationships, with suitable answers to be used as a guide when dealing with typical Sri Lankanism. Let me know if I’ve missed out on anything!
1.‘My… You have put on, no?’ Prepare to be assailed by anyone from a half blind, balding uncle, who has a slight drinking problem to an unhappily married cousin. While most of this is because they lack any discretion, they just tend to vocalise the thoughts of their inner demons. My answer for such would be, “Oh, you know, prosperity does things to be my waist line” or “I didn’t know that pots can talk, too” – they may take a hint.
2.“What happened to the lawyer boyfriend you were courting?” Instead of regaling how the Sh*t completely destroyed you, you can go along and say, “He’s doing great – in fact he sent his regards to you”. End of story. If you’re lucky, this story may end with a “Aney, how sweet”.
3.The above can also vary like the following, “How many boys have you been out with? Last time it was the Lawyer, now it’s the gem dealer – next it will be the bakery owner”. To this nosy parker, your response would be, “Yes, you’re quite right. You wouldn’t have a spare son would you? Don’t mind even if he is married or has two heads”. Stand back and enjoy their jaw hit the floor.
4.”What does your Boyfriend drive?” In gold-digger- SL style vernacular, this translates to “How much money does he have?” – Somehow, Sri Lankans thinks it’s perfectly okay to pry to into sensitive matters like this. They, of course, will justify it being a case of them looking out for your well-being, but it’s either to compare your boyfriend against the measly beaver his/her daughter is dating. If you want to spice things up, you can always turn it up a notch or two and say that he is not employed and doesn’t plan to… see how that wildfire spreads.
5.“So, are you two serious?” This can be hella awkward if your significant other is next to you and you’re just lucky to have a boy WhatsApp you let alone be dating one. Even though you have already bargained the price of a wedding shoot with the intended photographer after dating for 36 hours, you haven’t talked about if you’re ready to make it official. When a question like this hits you, your safest bet would be to say, “We don’t discuss our private life” or just pretend to faint.
6.If yours is an “arranged marriage”, you will have many time bombs go off during the course of your relationship. Many dotty aunties after a bit too much vino, might casually tell your partner, “Oh this one was quite the fire cracker – every day a new boy at the door”. Your partner may look like he is preserving lunudehi in his mouth throughout the remainder of the day, but vengeance can be served both ways so you can casually tell the Aunty, “Thank goodness for you – we didn’t have to buy a CCTV camera because your eyes were working double time”.
7.”So…so…when is the big day?” I get this even now and I quite happily ask the enquirer if they are willing to pay for my wedding expenses. They stammer on about how it was just out of polite interest – but we know better, don’t we? They are just checking how you rank on the neighbourhood scale of wedding expenses and if Kamala’s daughter’s one cost less.
8.Maybe unfiltered questions are a part of the Sri Lankan DNA – or is it that our brains have just cut out the filter? Don’t expect them to stop anytime soon either! I’ve reached the end of my rendition of ‘Dealing with the Big Qs – Sri Lankan Style'; do let me know if I’ve missed out on any.
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