Sing while you're fishing...A Sri Lankan experience

| April 16, 2013

The Rainfords recently visited Sri Lanka with Cox & Kings.

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It was the chanting that first drew our attention; more like a sea shanty, but in Sinhala. We rose from our sunbeds by the pool and exited the garden onto the beach.  About a dozen men were hauling on one end of a fishing net, leaning into it and singing as they pulled. Further down the beach another dozen men were hauling in the other end. They clearly had a long way to go, as we could see the gulls swooping in on the tail of the net some two hundred yards offshore. The two teams, continuing to sing, progressed down the beach, hauling in time as they went and coiling the ropes, until half an hour later the end of the net was up on the shore. With whoops of joy, the tail of the net was unlaced and the fish poured into boxes to be taken away.

The fish were mainly small, what at home we would call whitebait, but the occasional fish of a couple of pounds or so had also fallen prey much to the delight of the captors. The happiness of the men as they folded the nets, slung them aloft on their shoulders and returned down the beach to the village was almost tangible. People living a simple life, working together as a well-honed team and using methods in use for generations. How much longer will we travellers be able to experience such events?

We count ourselves lucky to have ended our holiday at The Reef Villas in Wadduwa.

Well done Cox & Kings, an inspired choice of boutique hotel.

View Cox & Kings' Sri Lanka tours.

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