I think I’ve finally figured out why Sri Lankans find local cuisine a complex challenge. Can anything be cooked without adding seventeen spices in varying measures? This is why it doesn’t really surprise me that Lankans complicate even the simplest tasks, from shaping their spaghetti into a circle (string hoppers) to even the announcement of their relationships. What can be completed with a simple ‘yes' will be done in one of these below.
1.) The Game of Tag
As if marathon watching seasons of Games of Thrones is not enough. By tagging the said partner in check-ins, status updates, photo uploads, and constantly posting on the other’s timelines, Lankan seems to be averse to moderation. Is this done to ward off potential admirers? Is this somehow equal to a dog weeing on everything they set their sights on? We will never know for sure. Complex over comfort, as Lankan motto dictates.
2.) Hi There
When you attend a local do, a wedding or a corporate event, one person will always have precedence over the bridal couple or the chief guest. This would be the official Hi magazine photographer. If you don’t hasten with a spirit of ‘ikmanata, ikmanata’ to the photographer, there is a risk of them vanishing into thin (polluted) air leaving no trace. On meeting the photographer and requesting to have your photo in, much to the bafflement of the said photographer, you accomplish the mission of letting the world at large know that you are taken. You don't, however, make it into the local Guinness records of Relationships.
If you need to take a selfie, you are more than welcome to. However, you will note how creative Lankans are to include a long essay or a copy paste of a poem or song, and then you know that they’re a pair. Posting a selfie is great; accompanying it with a 500-word essay about someone not captured in the frame is not.
4.) Locked In
Mobile lock screens and screensavers say a lot about a person. There are some who have bible verses, motivational thoughts or inspirational quotes from Maya Angelou. Then there are those lock screens that scream of relationships with a couple selfie. Is somehow having this going to ward off anyone else's interest in you? Sri Lankans think so. As a part of my research on the topic, I also learned that it’s also supposed to tell observers that the other person in the relationship is constantly on their mind. Locked in my heart, locked in my screen could be the motive behind this.
5.) PDA that Stinketh
I have developed a new skill of being able to detect fairly new relationships. If you remember anything from grade 8 science notes, you might recall learning about the amoeboid. This organism is able to alter its shape by extending its ‘pods’ to enclose its prey. In the same way, new couples look like their arms and legs are extending to create an extension to their physical unit. You can be anywhere from Cargills, Perera and Sons, or Church, and you will see these couples that officiate their status by holding hands or displaying PDA to mark territories.
6.) Hash the Tag
Sri Lankans are famous for many things. One thing they’re entering into in rapid succession is creating hashtags with their respective partner’s nickname. The fact that they’ve officiated their status on Facebook is not enough, but now there's a hashtag that makes your insides squirm. I can honestly admit that the only thing it’s hashing out is my desire to have social media accounts.
7.) St Romance
Why do some desks look like a sacred worship space for a deity? I’ve seen some desks littered with so many pictures, scented (dusty) candles, and mementos of partners. I am tempted to ask if they are homeless. While this screams ‘I’m taken’, you might want to take out a cleaner to wipe the inch tall dust that’s gathering on it.