Sri Lanka
Project info

Before I went to Sri Lanka, most people told me that there won’t be much to see.The food is not as delicious as Thailand and the scenery is not as beautiful as Maldives. Little do they know, it's not a country of poverty, underdevelopment, and civil wars, it's a place with laughter, kindness, serenity and invigoration. It was July 2015, in Kandy, Sri Lanka, I was a mere bystander standing among hundreds and thousands devout Buddhists. The Esala Perahera, also known as The Festival of the Tooth is celebrated every year in July. The festival is dedicated to the sacred tooth relic which was brought from India and is now housed in Kandy. The indigenous people travel from near and far to be part of this most important Buddhist festival, and they will sit on streets for days to secure a viewing opportunity. And during the day, they chant and pray for hours and days. And the riches, the tourists, and the visitors can pay to get better seating. I was there the first day. Sitting next to the fireplace, I was able to leverage the natural light to take some photos of the performers. The parade will go on for days, and the performers start their rehearsal early in the morning, and continue the performance till late evening. I don’t think the children understand very clearly what they are doing, but I can feel their dedication, their belief and their hope. Sri Lanka is a country with more than 70% population of Buddhist. The communal tensions of its religious war have never ceased, but I was fortunate enough to intimately experience its people’s compassion, faith and love. Looking back at those photos, I feel their longing for hope, security and protection from the supernatural power. It is their anchor in difficult times. It might not solve all of the problems, or change the stories, but it certainly gives them a meaning of life, to be able to face lots of hardships in their life because of their faith and their belief. There is so much beauty and power there if we want to see.