Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History by Biedermann
English | June 7, 2017 | ISBN: 1911307843 | 357 Pages | PDF | 12 MB
A young man, proudly dressed up as a Roman legionary, has lowered his gaze to
observe us – with a mix of wariness, curiosity and defiance, it seems (Figure 0.1).
He is a part of a Catholic Passion play performed in the town of Negombo on Sri
Lanka’s west coast. The wooden sword in his right hand is raised, the helmet and
armour shine assertively even under the cloudy sky. Behind the man is a statue of
Christ, hands tied, the symbol of a religion brought to Sri Lanka during one of the
many moments of change triggered by more or less violent contacts established
across the sea. There is in this single picture a multitude of worlds – an indication
of the capability of Lankan society to adopt the foreign, but also to appropriate it,
digest it, reinvent it and, if necessary, defy it. To throw light on the deeper history
of such ambiguities is the main objective of this book.