Matara, Sri Lanka

Drugs Awareness Marches Sri Lanka Style

Traditional Dancers
We were welcomed by another school. This time treated to a traditional dance from two guys in traditional dress. They danced us into the building of another packed waiting room. We were invited on stage to light candles in Buddhist tradition. I really like how much of an effort the people of Sri Lanka make to make guests feel welcomed. The whole time we have been here so far we have been treated with so much respect. Everyone is so smiley and friendly wanting to stop and chat. You can not help but find yourself smiling too. We were given a seminar on drugs in Sri Lanka. I found this so insightful. In the UK we would be talking about the dangers of street drugs like heroin and crack but in Sri Lanka cigarettes are considered drugs. I mean yes technically they are but I think it is pretty awesome that is the major drug issue rather than harder stuff and hopefully they will be successful at being able to combat it.
zinga in action 

We took the room outside all 150 people because we wanted to get them all energised. In Active citizens you learn a game called Zinga. Everyone gets in a big circle and the main person starts to shout maaaa one by one the circle must follow until the vibe gets so strong and powerful that everyone shouts zinga together. Sound boring? wait till I get the video to show you. We did the possible worlds biggest zinga and they loved it. In fact we had to do it twice.....mainly because Sarah forgot to press record on the camera but it was a good excuse to have another go ;) This time the language barrier was a lot stronger than we had been experiencing so we weren't able to get to know them as much as we had the other school.
Some of the posters in native language

We helped make some posters ready for a protest march. The one I worked on with Sam got voted third mainly because Sam could cheer the loudest. Conveniently I do not have a picture of our amazing drawing skills. ;)
Bojan always has jokes

The march itself was amazing the young people got so passionate and we walked all the way through a small village. The sun was beating down on us but the surroundings were like little hut houses and big beautiful palm trees while kids passionately shouted STOP SMOKING. The community seemed to really embrace it and smiled at the march taking our leaflets and waving as the tuc tuc in front blared about anti drugs. Here are a few pictures of the march.

Shops on the walk

Following the Tuc Tuc surrounded by beauty

Me and Sarah it was so hot she used my poster for shade

Our fellow marchers

I would march through these settings anyday

Protest Tuc Tuc style

Tajdar with our protest crew


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