sujewa films nyc

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hmmm, the DIY thing runs in the family maybe...

At one time my dad built film projectors out of wood & plastic at home, as a hobby & maybe a source of secondary income too (for projecting I believe 35 MM film - maybe 16 MM film too, some projectors were mostly wood, some were mostly plastic). This was back in Sri Lanka, I think he built his last projector in the early 80's. So, some D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) activity there, film related too.

Found an interesting passage in the autobiography of a relative a few minutes ago while shelving some books; the relative is an uncle (or grand uncle, as we call him, my grandmother's brother - one of them - on my dad's side) who is a Buddhist monk named Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. He writes about the house he was born in & receiving his birth name (this was about 80+ years ago in Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, & people who join the order of Buddhist monks receive a new name); from Journey to Mindfulness: The Autobiography of Bhante G.:

"Two weeks after my birth, when it looked likely I was hearty enough to survive, my father went to visit the chief of a nearby village...There, he told the chief the name he had given his third son: Ekanayaka Mudiyanselage Ukkubanda."

And a couple of paragraphs later, this most interesting bit of info:

"My father built our house himself. It was maybe thirty by forty feet. The roof was made of straw, dried fronds from coconut trees, and scraps of tin. The walls were made of mud, reinforced with strips of bamboo. Along the front and back of the house were open verandas, with walls that were made of mud on the lower half and a wooden lattice on the upper half."

Building your own house must be the ultimate D.I.Y. project. Very interesting, my great grandfather on my dad's side built his own house (come to think of it, this is not so unusual in Sri Lanka, I heard from my mom that her grandfather also built his own house) - maybe this whole D.I.Y. thing is some kind of a family habit (probably not - I am not a big believer in inherited traits, I think most qualities that individuals have come out of their environment, their own time period/as a response to it & their own experiences, but I could be wrong). Regardless of what it all means, it's nice to get some glimpses of the past, & of interesting activities, from family members.

- Sujewa

2 comments:

Nicole said...

It's always nice to learn about our ancestors, if for only to understand where we come from and the types of people they were before we came into the world and afterword.

I agree that a lot of people's habits are developed by their surrounded environment but I also believe that we do inherit certain traits and habits from our ancestors or elders.

One example of this can be noticed in broken families, teenage mothers and single parent homes around the country. There are some families that create a pattern of single parents or depending on welfare instead of working or favoritism among a certain gender, age or portion of one family acts of racism or violence or many other habits and behaviors that are repeated throughout generations until someone chooses a different path and ends that cycle of habits.

The Sujewa said...

Often times lots of social, familial & personal issues & barriers stand in the way of individuals when they try to accomplish a big goal or an important goal - but - I think, if you don't give up trying you are 90% of the way there to success.

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