After 25 years of staying away, a couple from Finland Jukka and Leppnen had the chance to revisit Sri Lanka, where they spent many years working on a development project in the region of Kandy in the early 1980s.
The duo in an email to Lakbimanews said of their visit to Sri Lanka. “During the past 25 years the world has changed a lot. Some countries have benefited more than others from the global structural revolution. In Sri Lanka the development has not been very rapid due to difficult years of war and natural disasters. During our two month stay we discovered this beautiful island to be in a process of rebuilding the devastated areas and reconstructing economic and social infrastructure. These are the basic requirements for economic development and for opening the country for tourism at its full capacity. We were happy to observe that overcoming these problems seems to be in good progress, and that the Sri Lankans have seemingly not lost their pleasure in life and their confidence in a better future – admirable qualities which we have always associated with the Sri Lankan people”.
“Sri Lanka has a lot of potential and possibilities to offer foreign tourism, but the changing conditions in Sri Lanka certainly form a challenge for the travel industry. Travelling culture is changing with the new generation of budget travellers, who give more weight to the price service value of exciting and adventurous excursions than to the way of travelling and luxury facilities.
During our recent trip we rediscovered many of the sights, events and places which we have cherished in our hearts for so long. We were able to once again enjoy the small roadside stalls and boutiques, interesting fish and vegetable markets and the almost intoxicating odours of fresh spices. For us one of the most enjoyable things in Sri Lanka is the local kitchen, which is full of delightful surprises just like the island itself. With its vibrant colours and fragrant aromas it is just irresistible to us. It is wonderful to experience how every dish, from rice and curries, hoppers and rottis to chutneys, desserts and cakes, makes use of the country’s bounty of fresh spices”.
“We have been lucky to travel and live in many countries for longer periods of time. For us the most precious moments in all the different cultures we learned to know are those spent with local people, sharing their everyday life. These valuable experiences have offered us interesting points of view and made it possible for us to evaluate the condition and services of a country in a way very different to the one of luxury travellers. Friends, old and new, have helped us in building up an impression of the present and most importantly they have made us feel at home”.
“Sri Lanka has become the love of our lives”.