Recommended reading

In the orientation materials that were sent to us, there are a number of quotes taken from a book entitled Excursions and Explorations: Cultural Encounters Between Sri Lanka and the United States edited by Tissa Jayatilaka published by the United States – Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission in Colombo in 2002. I was able to obtain a copy from (though it appeared to be the last one available).

The book is a series of vignettes written by Sri Lankans about their experiences in the United States or by Americans about their experiences in Sri Lanka. This has been the best book so far to prepare us for our visit. The personal stories are delightful. They range from serious and academic to hilarious. I read “The Road to Miami” by Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda aloud to Kris. Or at least I tried to. I had a hard time speaking while laughing and a hard time seeing through the tears of my laughter. The book was doubly effective in teaching about cultural differences by enabling one to not only read the reactions of Americans to Sri Lanka, but the reactions of Sri Lankans to our own country.

Having met and gotten to know Frank and Kathleen Peiris and other members of their family, I already was confident that I would be pleased to meet more Sri Lankans, but this book confirmed that feeling. And the descriptions of Sri Lanka’s people, parks, and ancient heritage further sharpened my desire to get started on our trip.



1 Comment

  1. July 24, 2008 at 9:42 am

    […] for the orientation. We were amazed that they would go to such effort on our behalf. Recall from a previous post that Tissa, as he asked us to call him, was the editor of the very useful book that collected […]

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