After wrapping an amazing shoot in Puttlam on Friday, Saturday was a nice relaxing day off in the town of Kandy. The second Vision Fund client we’ve chosen to profile is located in Maskeliya the southern tea plantation area; Kandy’s on the way. It’s home to the Temple of the Tooth (candy, tooth… there’s a joke in there somewhere), where Sri Lanka’s most revered Buddhist relic is located.
I woke up to a nice view of Kandy – and I saw monkeys! There were four of them right there on the roof below. I thought it was super cool. Megali did not. She said something along the lines of “umm, yeah dude… monkeys, what about them?” They’re common in Sri Lanka, but it still made my morning.
We reached the Temple around noon. It’s usually packed with Buddhist visitors, but it wasn’t so bad on account of the rain. And like all Buddhist temples, ya gotta walk barefoot… maybe the rain washes away the germs?
So, a little about the Temple of the Tooth: it’s believed that the actual tooth of Buddha is in the shrine. The history of the tooth relic is long and fascinating – reads like a Pirates of the Caribbean plot outline and it’d probably make a damn good movie. Much of Sri Lanka’s history has revolved around the relic. Wars have been fought over it, and it’s been sought by kings and empires for thousands of years. There was a Tamil Tiger bomb attack there as recent as ‘98. Sacred power or not, it’s legend is real.
On the way out, we wandered over to an area right next to the temple where there are a few Hindu shrines. They had elephants out there, so of course I had to go to check them out. So apparently, walking under elephants is a thing people do. It’s a practice that some Hindus partake in to ward off the ‘evil eye.’ Evil eye is a theme I’ve come across a few times here among Hindus. I’m sure I’m oversimplifying, but I’ve been told by a few sources that it’s basically the envy and ill wishes that others may desire upon you. There are a lot of customs, practices and traditions centered around the idea of warding off evil eye. So… one of them is to walk under an elephant? I’m in. We managed to catch some footage. I think it worked out okay.
They also had a baby elephant!
Okay, that’s about it. I actually wrote this post from Maskeliya. The week’s been busy as heck but fruitful – I’ll keep you posted on what happened in Maskeliya in a bit. Till next time!