Here the child’s opinion is of little importance

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Ewa Rąbek: Why Sri Lanka?

I flew there for the first time with a friend in 2010, shortly after the end of the civil war (between 1983 and 2009, between government forces representing ethnic Sinhalese and Tamil separatists trying to create the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in the northern and eastern parts of the island. own states – ed.). We won a photo contest at the college, where the prize was a tourist voucher worth maybe 12,000. zloty. It was November, so to make it as good as possible, we were looking for a remote, exotic, and warm place that none of us had ever been to before. And fell to Sri Lanka.

A lifetime vacation?

Yes, but we were small. After a two-week stay, we felt dissatisfied, so we came here again next year, this time to ourselves. We rented a house on the beach and stayed there for three months. I met my current husband then.

Polish mother from Australia: I have three children

Did you know right away that you were going to move in with him? Have you thought about Poland?

We decided quickly. We chose the latter because we have the choice of Warsaw or Aluthgama, the hometown of Dimuta in the Indian Ocean. I was very comfortable in Sri Lanka, especially from the beginning, and Warsaw is good for him, but for a maximum stay of a few weeks. (smile).

Why?

Despite the opportunities offered by a large city, Dimutu is disturbed by the hustle and bustle, the chaos, the crowds on the streets, the crowds on public transport. He is accustomed to discovering places and nature. He feels much better than in the capital, for example, in our family lands near Warsaw.

What was the biggest surprise for her in her husband’s country?

He was surprised that it was the busiest and bright in the summer until the evening. In Sri Lanka, regardless of the season, it is always dark around 18.30 in the evening. He was also … shocked by the folding beds. When I first saw a sofa in my parents’ apartment, in a room prepared for us, she was afraid that there would be nothing left to sleep. (smile).

You are the proud parents of two girls …

Yes. The eldest is nine years old and his name is Kaya. It is a small, seven-year-old Maya.

Do they go to school?

Yes. When they were three, they went to a private kindergarten, and when they were six, they went to a public school in Sri Lanka, one of the three children in our city.

Do they speak Polish?

Yes, they say and understand everything. Now we are working on writing and reading, but it is a little difficult. It was natural for me to address them in Polish from the beginning. My relatives and guests from Poland, who passed by our house, did the same. They learned Sinhala from their father, and since Dimut and I speak English, they also know a third language.

What do you and your husband do on a daily basis?

We work “for ourselves” in tourism. We have a show garden for tourists, where they can see what they look like, smell and taste the world’s most famous spices and Asian herbs. We also have a small shop selling Ayurvedic medicines and cosmetics. In addition, we organize tours to Sri Lanka, mainly to the west and southwest coasts. Sometimes I travel with tourists as an interpreter, pilot and guardian. I also look after the house and our many animals.

How many?

We have a few chickens to have our own eggs, a duck and a goose, because the pond in the area seemed empty to us. In addition, the owls we fed after the tree with their holes were cut off. We also have several aquariums with different species of turtles, fish, rabbits and cats. In the past, we had a goat, a palm fish, and an orphaned pig. The latter, after growing up, fell into a reserve in the south of Sri Lanka.

Do girls help with this inventory?

Of course. As a result, they learn responsibility, empathy, and nature lessons in real life. We never have enough pets. In any case, our friends and residents of our city are aware of our livestock and come to us immediately when any animal (wild or domestic) suffers.

You gave birth to both daughters in Sri Lanka and spent your pregnancy here. Do you have fond memories of that time?

Yes. Although I choose to give birth in a private institution, I can’t say bad things about the standards of local medical care. I would like my husband to go with me to the examinations and then be with me in the hospital. Unfortunately, the first birth was difficult. She had a caesarean section for almost two days due to lack of progress and worsening of her daughter’s CTG records. For the second time, given this experience, oxytocin, pain and fear, I did not even want to try to give birth naturally. The doctors agreed on medical grounds. The poons who took care of the girls immediately after birth were extremely professional and helpful, and I recovered quickly after both emperors.

How are children raised in Sri Lanka?

It is completely different from Europe. It is common to take their subjectivity. Children are expected to obey their parents, elders, and teachers. The child’s opinion does not count much here. In my opinion, parents do not talk enough with their children here, do not explain the world to them, do not pay attention to their needs, except for a full stomach, clean clothes and something to play with.

Fathers do not interfere?

Very little from the Western world. Especially when it comes to the first years of children’s lives. They do not feed them, do not change clothes, do not bathe.

Traditional roles?

Yes, very strong cultural stereotypes. A woman’s job is to look after the house and children, and a man’s job is to earn money. Deviations from this rule are very rare, even today. On the other hand, local children learn to be independent very quickly. They are able to express their physiological needs early, eat independently and are more efficient by hand. The older brothers are very helpful to the younger ones. In addition, in traditional homes, at meal time, children cannot find food and start eating until the master of the house, the head of the family, does so. We have a father-in-law. Of course, he chooses the best bites for himself. My daughters were surprised at first, because the best is given to children in our country or in Poland.

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As a rule, the child is born healthy. However, parents face a lot of stress related to the adaptive state of the newborn

How do you spend your free time?

By water, mainly on the shore, sometimes by the river, in a boat. We all like it and we never miss it. Sun, water sports, snorkeling, wave and sand games, fishing … There is much to see.

How often do you visit Poland?

As often as possible, at least once a year. It was easier when the girls were little. Now the periods of our visits are marked by school holidays, those that come in August.

You are currently experiencing the most serious economic crisis in history. Do you feel this in your daily life?

So that. A few weeks ago, the government declared the country bankrupt. There are no foreign exchange reserves to finance the import of fuel, gas and some food products. About half of Sri Lanka’s power plants generate electricity from diesel, so they are turned off for several hours a day to save money. The schedule of these breaks is available on the Internet during the night. Now it is 3-4 hours a day, but even in the worst period, 10 hours are without electricity. You can still get used to it, although the lack of a fan, the melting of the refrigerator, and the inability to charge the phone are worrying. Candles that are always ready in the evening, battery-operated lamps, etc.

Kinga tries to spend as much time outdoors with the children as possible.Polish mother from Ireland: Holidays here are absolutely terrible for a working parent

What are you doing then?

In the evenings, when there is no electricity, we sometimes watch pre-downloaded movies, sometimes read by candlelight, play cards, and play the famous Asian game of caramel. Girls sometimes smoke there, but we also go to bed early and wake up early.

Are you afraid for your future?

I’m afraid there will be no tourists, as there was during the pandemic, so we will stop making money again. I am also worried that my daughters are losing the opportunity to go to school, meet their peers and travel.

Do you plan to return to Poland forever?

no I hope it will not be worse here. In Poland, we could not live at the level we live here. In times of crisis, we try to overcome difficulties every day with small steps. It is only possible to stay with parents for a long time, if it was already very bad. On the other hand, I am constantly monitoring the situation in Poland, and I know that it is not so pink there now. However, we have a place to go if necessary, and the idea is very comfortable.

And how often do you have guests from Poland?

Yes, our family members and old friends from school, university and work visit us. We have a big house, so they have no place to stay. We feed them with local delicacies, trying to make them stay with us unforgettable. Such visits are always highly anticipated, because they are a pleasant escape from everyday life, but also the delivery of Polish products, which are lacking here.

What do you miss the most?

Behind the sour taste – pickles, cabbage, herring, as well as wild fruits … I love Sri Lankan food, including. local herb soup – Kenda wheelpumpkin curry, pineapple curry, floor sambol, that is, fresh coconut kernels are spicy, but I miss the Polish flavors …

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