Growing up outside the borders of the capital of Sri Lanka, going to Colombo was a big deal. Hey, if you do your Scholarship Exam in grade 5 or your OLs in grade 11, you might get selected to a better school. But let’s talk about that later.
Entering the Colombo “scene” at the age of 16 and the complex social structures gave me a concluded idea of what Colombo people do and don’t. Over time, these structures and the quality of people deteriorated due to the inherent problems that everyone face, living in an ever eternal 03rd World Country.
So what are these toxic triggers: I made a list of things I’ve noticed.
Your School Matters. Although it shouldn’t
If you make it into high-end social circles, your school creates your perception for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a genius or a borderline sociopath, hey! You went to Hogwarts batch of 69′? You are supposed to know a certain wizard they mention. Even that is okay, but being in touch with the right people gets you through closed doors. I’ve heard fathers who have gone to top tier schools speaking in a subtle, disappointed tone about their sons and daughters going to different schools. Why does that statement have to have disappointment?
If you left school over 10 years ago and your school is still a significant part of your personality, I feel sorry for you.
Never Approach Anyone Unless Spoken to. Following social media doesn’t matter.
In a public setting, self-proclaimed celebrities and emerging artists tend not to acknowledge anyone’s presence. Being humble is often considered a specialized quality and is not expected out of anyone. Sense of self-gratifying, egoism. Also, I’ve noticed people getting severely offended & felt insulted for not knowing who they are. I’ve got 99 problems & your titles don’t matter to me. You introducing yourself, me not knowing who you are should not be a social problem. What is wrong with you people?
Blame Someone Today. Another Tomorrow. Never Blame Yourself.
Have you been to Sri Lankan Twitter? Everyone is cancelling someone every day. It doesn’t matter because when they block you, you can always move on to someone else. #IshiniGate to that other guy who put his titles wrong, It all happens so fast. Maybe I am getting the boomer genes activated.
“Woke Famous Influencers”. Never Criticize Them.
Sri Lankans have a mental tradeoff in their every time some drama happens. The accusations vs the results of the person. A cricketer not practising monogamy is not an issue as long as he scores some runs. An influencer visual signalling hate towards an external party is often justified based on the things the influencer stands for. Had you have a different perception towards anything, you might get cancelled, attacked and ridiculed. Some Influencers don’t have a fanbase but an elite, brewed online bullies to attack On-command.
Doesn’t Matter What You Do, You Can Always Blame the Government.
Breaking COVID Lockdown rules, not following traffic regulations, littering everywhere, bribing policemen, not staying in queues and using influence over any simple activity are forgivable. Because the government is stealing forex reserves and public funds. Incredible, unbeatable logic right there.
If You Make it Anywhere, the Occupants think You are a Threat.
I believe the core factor that has created this mentality is due to the lack of market size in Sri Lanka for anything really. Take any industry. If you are trying to have a disruptive influence, no one really likes you. People don’t really share the little cake they have. We know Iraj is bitter about Yohani’s success, but hey! Iraj can only make so much music after all his political responsibilities.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe, I am way over my head. But like in that movie ” It’s what it is” – The Irishman by Martin Scorsese.