Awhile back I asked a VSO staff member if there was a Sri Lankan comedy scene. After thinking for a couple of seconds, he said, “No, no there isn’t.” He wasn’t exactly sure why, but he figured it had to do something with the fact that things like, “sex, drugs and swearing” are extremely taboo and would just leave everyone feeling awkward.

A quick search on YouTube brings up a few Sri Lankan funnymen, but nothing resembling an actual comedy scene.

The only comedian the guy knew was Russell Peters (see clip above courtesy – once again – of our blog friend Eric) and he loved him. He didn’t know that he was Canadian, but he had listened to some of his CDs and knew that he was big time in India and the Middle East.

Being a guy who rarely stops chuckling at the ridiculousness of everything and everybody, I  think the absence of comedy here is really a shame. If there was ever a place that could use a good, cathartic laugh, it’s Sri Lanka. After floods, wars and Tsunamis, some real good belly laughs would do wonders for the place and the people.

I’m not trivializing the tragedies from the past in Sri Lanka because they were undoubtedly horrible. All I’m saying is that there is a funny void here that needs to be filled with some fun.

And the amount of comedic material available is huge. Whether it be the ridiculous politicians, the super aggressive way people drive or something as simple as how a business meeting is conducted, it’s all comedy gold. A show like Saturday Night Live would clean up here.

I don’t want to give the impression that people don’t laugh on the Island, because they do. They just don’t do it together as a community. I truly believe that a community that can laugh together – and more importantly can laugh at itself – is one that can move on from the past and start getting on with the future.

Maybe I should start the comedy movement off? I wonder if our landlord Mr. S would let me open a comedy club in our apartment?

I would call it: Laf Now – to commemorate one of the funniest answers ever given on a test by one of Trina’s students back home (I think it was a math test too).

I’ll let you know if I get any laughs.

Shaun

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