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Thursday, February 14, 2008

I guess not everyone is a fan; romantic love denounced by Sri Lankan monks as an "undesirable western concept"

Funny. I guess not everyone is a fan of Valentines Day. From an article in Gulf Times:

"Sri Lankan Buddhist monks plan to counter Valentine's Day celebrations in the island with programmes to lure the youth away from romantic love which they denounce as an undesirable Western concept.

The Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya (JSS), a national organisation of monks, will hold Adishtana and Ashirwada prayers Valentine's Day today in a bid to make the youth love the country and the security forces battling Tamil Tigers."

Read the rest of the article here.

Why an organization SWORN TO CELIBACY (that would be the order of Buddhist monks; they are celebate in Sri Lanka) is concerned with romantic love is something to ponder. I guess this is all a left over anti-western attitude in some parts of Sri Lankan society, rising from anti-colonial sentiments from over 60 years ago. Not everyone in Sri Lanka hates romantic love, from what I hear, and in fact I believe love is a very popular thing over there as it is everywhere else in the world - openly or in secret.

On a related note, I think taking human ideas & practices and separating them into Western & Eastern categories & then developing an unnecessarily antagonistic attitude towards those ideas may not be the best way to do things. I think people should consider the usefullness of things irrespective of their place & time of origin, take what is useful to them & ignore the rest. That's how I try do things in Kensington, MD, but Sri Lanka of course is a very different place.

So a happy valentines day to everyone everywhere, even if you think it's an "undesirable western concept" :)

- Sujewa

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