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New documentary project: The Sri Lankans In America

Immigration from Sri Lanka to the United States did not happen (as far as I know at the moment, will research this item further in the coming months) in relatively high numbers (in the 1000s & over) until the 1970s-80s. I am a part of that first wave of immigrants (even though I was just 12 when I came over to the US, still a part of Generation One, or perhaps more accurately Generation 1.5). I plan on visiting with Sri Lankans who live in various points of the US in the coming months & creating a documentary about their/our world & the unique stories & experiences that are a part of that world.

The idea for this project was born out of attending a family event last night in Maryland - my dad's late 60-something birthday. I took my video camera - the DVX100B - with me & recorded some of the conversations that were happening at the event. Some of the items discussed: meaning of death, the war in Sri Lanka, post-war re-construction plans & ideas on how to avoid another long & costly war that has ethnic discrimination as a root cause, getting settled into the US stories, family stories in the US & Sri Lanka, Buddhism & other religions, critiques of Sri Lankan Buddhism, ancient Sri Lankan history, & Barack Obama's election as President. At some point soon I may post some of the video footage from last night here at this blog (it'll be mostly in Sinhala or Singlish, but I'll have subtitles in the planned doc).

Here is the blog/site for the new doc The Sri Lankans In America. I plan on filming in the West Coast, Midwest, & East Coast for this movie. Expected completion year for TSLIA is 2010.

- Sujewa

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