Category Archives: nature’s wonders

Mack & Tessa’s Glorious Cinematic Pictures of Sri Lanka Today

Two Weeks in Sri Lanka | A Recent Cinematic Travel Video: 

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Sri Lanka’s Remarkable Biodiversity …. Zoom In

Rohan Pethiyagoda to speak on Serendipity: The Discovery of Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity Heritage” … in The Roland Silva Memorial Lecture for the National Trust of Sri Lanka, 26 January 2023, ... 6.00 pm … on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81249396683

Sri Lanka’s natural wealth—its species, landscapes and ecosystems—are justly celebrated in it being recognized as part of a Global Biodiversity Hotspot. Yet, we rarely stop to wonder how this incredible heritage came to be discovered. This lecture tells the tale of this voyage of discovery: the doctors and the housewives who became botanical explorers; a village lad who rose to number among Asia’s most famous illustrators; a tea planter who went on to become president of the Royal Entomological Society... In the course of his career, the speaker has delved into archives in both Sri Lanka and Europe to piece together the life stories of these remarkable men and women. In this lecture he celebrates their achievements and their all too human foibles: their rivalries, jealousies, eccentricities and not least, their genius. Richly illustrated with portraits, works of art and anecdotes, the lecture will relate the story of the explorations that led to the discoveries that in turn gave rise to the literature upon which knowledge of our living island is based upon. In short, the speaker explains how deserving it is that the phenomenon of serendipity takes its name from the classical moniker for Sri Lanka.

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Volaare! Road Trains across Storm Waters in the Kimberley, West Australia

Paul Garvey, in The Australian Newpaper, 11 January 2023, where the title is “Road trains navigate inland sea to deliver vital supplies”

Extraordinary steps are being taken to ensure food and medical supplies make it into the communities cut off by floodwaters across Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Road trains have been photographed seemingly being driven over water as they made their way towards Broome with crucial food supplies.

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Remembering Julia Margaret Cameron

A Julia Margaret Cameron Bibliography

 

At different moments Thuppahi has presented photographs from that remarkable 19th century cameraperson Julia Margaret Cameron (maiden name “Pattle”) who was intimately linked to British Ceylon because her father [error … her husband] was one of the authors of the Colebrooke-Cameron Reports[i] of 1833 and because she chose to settle down in the island and passed away therein in 1879 (and is in fact buried within its churchyards).[ii]

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The Mighty Mahaweli River’s Environs: A Set of Stefan Pictorials

Stefan d’Silva has provided numerous expositions of the island’s landscapes and its peoples’ lifeways on several occasions ….. oftern penetrating places remote and extraordinary. HERE we have another ‘dose’: Halleyuyi-yah!

 

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Leopards in Sri Lanka: Rare Shots of Leopards in Fornication

A letter (reproduced today…….. https://thuppahis.com/2022/11/13/aussie-tourists-give-thumbs-up-for-tourist-scene-in-sri-lanka-today/#more-67980) from an Australian couple presents a Warm Thumbs-up for the Sri Lankan tourist industry today. …. Yes, TODAY. It should perhaps be evaluated in conjunction with a ground-breaking documentary on Sri Lankan leopards by the highly qualified Thivanka Rukshan Perera which is being aired by National Geographic at present (November 2022). This type of encounter, of course, is hard to come by – but Thivanka himself will be envious of the local tourist who watched and snapped a couple of leopards coupling in the wide-open spaces of a wild-life track.

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Aussie Tourists give Thumbs-up for Tourist Scene in Sri Lanka Today

Letter from Ray & Chris Czajko of Kensington, Victoria (November 2022)

The Czajkos would have been even happier, or become ecstatic, if they had accompanied Thivanka Perera on his leoaprd filming ‘safaris; or chanced upon leopards in fornication in the full ‘glare’ of a jungle track  (which Thuppahi is pleased to present in another item today).    This is the Circular Note sent by Thivanka:

Dear Family & Friends,

Despite all the negative reports we get every day in the press and on TV, it was heartening to read this letter from recently returned Aussie tourists to SL. It augurs well for the poor tour operators and hotels that seem to be struggling because of the lack of tourists from all the bad press.

I thought it worth sharing this with you. I hope you like it.”                                                    Continue reading

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Confronting Two Calamities in Eastern Sri Lanka in 2005

Dennis B. McGilvray, in India Review 5(2-3) November 2006, special issue on public anthropology, …. where the title reads  Tsunami and Civil War in Sri Lanka: An Anthropologist Confronts the Real World”  …. with highlighting in different colours imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi

Recent calls for a new “public anthropology” to promote greater visibility for ethnographic research in the eyes of the press and the general public, and to bolster the courage of anthropologists to address urgent issues of the day, are laudable although probably too hopeful as well.  Yet, while public anthropology could certainly be more salient in American life, it already exists in parts of the world such as Sri Lanka where social change, ethnic conflict, and natural catastrophe have unavoidably altered the local context of ethnographic fieldwork.  Much of the anthropology of Sri Lanka in the last three decades would have to count as “public” scholarship, because it has been forced to address the contemporary realities of labor migration, religious politics, the global economy, and the rise of violent ethno-nationalist movements.  As a long-term observer of the Tamil-speaking Hindu and Muslim communities in Sri Lanka’s eastern coastal region, I have always been attracted to the classic anthropological issues of caste, popular religion, and matrilineal kinship.  However, in the wake of the civil wars for Tamil Eelam and the 2004 tsunami disaster, I have been forced to confront (somewhat uneasily) a fundamentally altered fieldwork situation. This gives my current work a stronger flavor of public anthropology, while providing an opportunity for me to trace older matrilocal family patterns and Hindu-Muslim religious traditions under radically changed conditions.

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Sigiriya Rock Fortress: Some References & Unusual Photographs

This presentation is a pot pourri …. commencing with a striking photograph of those who provided the labour for restoration work in the British era …. proceeding to references for items within Thuppahi and then moving to present some more photographs (quite striking these) of restoration work in the past that were unearthed by Raja De Silva  and then providing some amateur shots associated with one Michael Roberts. The first photograph in this excursion into our island’s past has been selected consciously to mark and honour the sweating labour that went into the tasks of restoring access to the ruins and its magnificent mementoes. This labout, it is evident,was mostly Indian Tamil …. drawn perhaps from the same sources as those that provided labour for the coffee, tea, rubber and coconut plantations that were being developed then in the late 19th century. This is buta tiny memento marking their work ….and placing them alongside the British and Sri Lankan administrators who organised the tasks of archaelogical preservation.

 

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Kingdom Australis! A Mosaic of Extraordinary Landscapes

Original Title reads: “Australian Specials: A Mosaic of Extraordinary Features”

In case you’ve forgotten, we are special aren’t we? … says a Dinky-die Aussie

  1. The Australian Alps get more snow than the Swiss Alps.
  2. 90% of Australians live on the coast.

Lake_Hillier_Middle_Island_Australia_436251

 

Twelve_Apostles_Great_Ocean_Road_Victoria_Australia_29943

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