Last year, he couldn’t understand the cause and effect of the event, when his village Mosque in Grandpass was desecrated by a racist mob. He thinks that all communities can and must live amongst each other in peace, and that if there are any problems, they should talk them out without resorting to violence.
Today, Osman has gone ‘high-tech’ with his dream of painting and is working as a graphic designer. But he always finds time to help his father with painting Buddhist temples.
Osman’s is a story that clearly personifies the blurred lines that exist between our communities. It’s a story about how closely knit our populace of a little over 20 million is. A story that reminds us about the Muslim vendors opposite the Gangarama who sell pichcha flowers to Buddhist devotees on Full Moon Poya days, the watalappan dishes exchanged from Muslims households on Eid in exchange for sweet- meat plates on Avurudu, and village girls who make Kolam patterns at entrances to their houses on Thai Pongal. It’s one of many examples of how being Sri Lankan transcends narrow, parochial ethno-cultural identities that divide us.