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Tag Archive | adoptive

‘Revels North’ Kids Program On ‘Silk Road’ A Welcome Opportunity In The Northeast.

by Anura Guruge


RevelsNorthSilkRoad

Click to access the ‘Revels North’ Webpage for this program, with dates etc.


I was taken back and delighted when I saw this, in the form of an e-mail, this morning. Kids in the Northeast, particularly in NH, could do with ALL the EXPOSURE they can to the wide world beyond the borders of their state (or in some cases their town). This is why I am such a big advocate of the Laconia ‘Multicultural Day‘.

Learning about the ‘Silk Road‘ could sure inspire kids to explore their wonderlust. The ‘Silk Road’ has it all: adventure, history, culture, art, music, romance. Yes, I have a soft spot in my heart of the ‘Silk Road’ — other than the fact that the ‘Silk Road’ also traversed through Ceylon, by birthplace. In 1983 when UNESCO started its grand ‘Silk Road’ program, my adoptive father, by then a 15 year old and Director-level official with UNESCO, was part of the team. As it happened the Ceylon (by then Sri Lanka) part of the UNESCO kick-off was scheduled for August 1983. I happened to be in Sri Lanka at the time. So given that my adoptive father and mother were also there, from Paris, as was the Director General (who I had met many times in Paris), we attended many of the events. Somewhere in this house there is also a lavishly produced UNESCO book, published in 1983, for the ‘Silk Road’. So ..

This GRAND. I am happy. Bravo.


UNESCOsilkroad

UNESCO ‘Silk Road’ Home page with the ‘Sri Lanka’ flag highlighted. Click to access.


Related posts:
**** Search on ‘Revels North’  for many other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

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Sri Lanka To Be First To Try Out Google’s Balloon-Based Internet — And Ungrateful Locals Are Worried Of Spying!

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


projectloon22Related posts:
>> Google’s Balloon-based Internet.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>

++++ Search on  ‘Google’ for other posts >>>>


projectloon33

Click to access original.


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Click to learn more about Google’s Internet via balloon ‘Project Loon’.


Having tested the concept, successfully, in New Zealand and Brazil earlier this year, Google has signed a contract with the Sri Lankan government to provide Internet via balloon.

This makes sense. The country is small but populous, with very high literacy and most people not averse to technology. Nonetheless only 1 in 5 have ready access to the Internet. So Google in reality is doing the Sri Lankans a huge favor and honor.

Though only a handful will know this Sri Lanka in 1992 became the first country to officially sign-up for Al Gore’sInformation Superhighway“! I kid you not. At the time I used to joke that Sri Lanka must have managed to get a connection with the single 128Kbps dial-up link they had. I know this because the person who made this happen, as the then Sri Lankan Ambassador in D.C. was my adoptive father — who once a month had breakfast with Al Gore, his ‘neighbor’ in D.C.

But it appears that some Sri Lankans are far from grateful, let alone happy.

They fear that Google will spy on them and on Sri Lanka.

‘Spy’ is such an emotive and strong word. But, I can see where they are going.

I am 100% sure that Google will ‘data mine’ anything and everything that they can get their hands on in the data that passes through them. That happens worldwide. It is happening right now. I take it for granted.

Will Google ‘share’ this data with the U.S. government — which has a cursory interest in Sri Lanka in the overall context of the war against terrorism — or for that matter with other governments? I am sure India, Pakistan and some Gulf States probably would like to get some hands-on, G2 on Sri Lanka. Even if they don’t share it, Google probably might be amenable to selling some or all of the data. So the Sri Lankans are justified in their paranoia.

I just take Internet snooping, especially by Google and Amazon, for granted. But then again I don’t do anything that I shouldn’t do on the Internet. So I have nothing to hide.

But it amuses me to see the Sri Lankans getting so worked up about this.

Many of them that are ranting are too young to KNOW that Sri Lankans of my age were used, unbeknownst to them, as the guinea pigs for the new oral (sugar cube) polio vaccine, by the U.S., in the late 1950s. Yes, I was given the vaccine, multiple times, and I had no idea that I was being used as an easily dispensable, non-white test subject. Luckily for all of us the vaccine worked and we did get, successfully, immunized against polio. Consequently I have seen more polio in the U.S. than I ever did in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon).

Well being ‘spied on’ by Google is as far as I am concerned not as risky as having been unwitting test subjects for what could have been a dangerous vaccine that could have killed us!


Yet Another Hospital Mix-Up At Birth (In Italy) — Same As What Happened To Me In Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 62 Years Ago.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> I Too Am “The Other Son”.

>> Ananda College: prize list.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


hospitalmixup

From the U.K. Daily Mail from August 4, 2015. Click to ENLARGE and savor the ‘headlines’ here. Use link below to access original.

Click here to access the U.K. Daily Mail original.


This what happened to Lorena Cobuzzi and Antonella Zenga, in Puglia, Italy, 26 years ago was also, exactly, what happened to me — 62 years ago, in Colombo, Ceylon, at the “Private General Hospital“. Except 62 years ago they, I am sure, didn’t use bracelets — and to exacerbate matters, 90% of the babies born at that hospital would have been uniformly brown, with black hair and black eyes.

I explained my story in June of this year in this post.

I was told of this, nearly daily, since I was around 5. I guess that is why I grew up used to the idea. I was a hospital mix-up and the folks I called my parents were NOT my real parents. We could NOT have been any different. It was like a black couple having a lily white son. Chalk and cheese. That is how my adoptive parents worked out, quite early on, that I was not their son. There was no way I was related to them. C’est la vie.

Yes, I would like to meet the ‘other’ me. My kids, who still can’t quite work out the implications, calls ‘him’ the real me!

I am trying to make some inquiries. The hospital is no longer in existence. There were NO computers in 1953. The births would have been entered into a ledger. So we are looking for another brown boy, born between September 2 to September 5, 1953 at the “Private General Hospital”, Colombo 7, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).


I Too Am “The Other Son” — Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Version.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Ananda College: prize list.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


People get confused as to why I call myself adopted and make references to my adoptive-father and adoptive-mother. It is because I too was “The Other Son“, the Ceylon version; “The Other Son” a very powerful Israeli movie about babies accidentally swapped (i.e., mixed up) in a hospital shortly after birth.

So that is what I am, a hospital mix up.

How do I know?

Because ever since I can remember, say around age five onwards, I would be told AT LEAST once a day, usually many times more, that I was a ‘mix up at the hospital‘ and that my REAL FATHER was a ‘GAMBLER’. Wow. Doesn’t that explain it all? I later worked out that ‘gambler’ in 1950, still very Victorian, Ceylon meant that my real father, my biological father, was a rake (in the British sense). A playboy. Yes, Yes, YES. It all adds up. The very boring, teetotal, academic, with zero interest in sports, who was afraid of dogs, could NOT have been my father. It all made sense. Yes, it would be my adoptive-father who told me, daily, that I was ‘mix up at the hospital’ and how much he regretted that he never got his real child. But, my adoptive mother would also tell me the same thing, as did other relatives, and sometimes even the servants. I was the MISTAKE. And I am proud of it.

Why they did NOT fix it when they discovered the mistake — which was pretty obvious since I was nothing like my adoptive parents — is a mystery. I never asked. I guess I thought it was outside my control. Plus, I guess, deep down I did NOT want to be taken away from my “Ambili Amma” — Moon Mother — my adoptive mother’s mother, the person who brought me up.

My adoptive parents did NOT have much to do with me when I was growing up in Ceylon, 1953 – 1967. It was very Victorian. But rather than a nanny, I had my Ambili Amma. She is the one who brought me up from the time I came home. She is the one who made sure I had food, clothing, care and some amount of love. My adoptive parents were very busy. My father was a hot shot with multiple VIP jobs — Assistant Secretary of Education, Vice-Chancellor of a Buddhist university, a famous author etc. etc. My mother taught Pali at a Baptist Girls School. But they had a beyond hectic social life. They had engagements every evening, every day. They were part of the creme de la creme of Colombo society. So every day around 4pm my adoptive mother would start getting ready to go out. My father would arrive from one of his many jobs around 6pm and then they would be gone. Did not matter. Ambili Amma was always there. The house, a BIG house, was never empty. My adoptive mother’s youngest sister lived with us, as did a female cousin whose father had died. Plus we had servants and on top of that, at any given time, we might have another distant relative, usually male, living with us.

I saw my adoptive parents on a strict schedule. They would take me to school. That was when I mainly saw my adoptive father. 75% of the time we would pick me up, at 1pm, from Ananda College. We would then pick up my adoptive mother and her sister and come home for lunch. Those two car trips was when I mainly had interactions with my adoptive father. The rest of the time he was gone or working. Between 2 and 4 my mother, a teacher, would TEACH me. It was formal. That was basically the time I spent with her. The rest of the time she was gone or getting ready — and ‘getting ready’ was an elaborate process with lots of make up, getting hair put up etc. Think Victorian Britain and the Lady of the house. That was our house.

Then, when I was about 18 my adoptive father came up with a new line. He would tell people, most people, referring to me: “the devil looks after his own”. Nice. He was making it very clear that he was NOT my father — not that anybody needed to be told that. He, a very religious man (though 40% was for show because it helped with his politics), was disowning me and assigning my parentage to ‘the devil’. Yes, remember that gambler? I was always confused as to which devil was my real father — whether it was the rather ineffective Buddhist devil or the more, potent and interesting Christian devil. I was just glad that it just wasn’t the real devil that made my life a daily hell, i.e., my adoptive father.

So that is the story.  I am a hospital mix up.

I should have done this earlier BUT I am now going to try and find out who my biological family was. It would be neat to meet the ‘real’ me! I assume he must still be alive, if not my biological parents. If they are alive I would love to meet them. Thank them for making me what I am. My real father has to be a character. I owe so much to him. He gave me the DNA that in the end, despite all the hardships I endured at the hands of my adoptive father, allowed me to lead a life where 99% I had a grin on my face.

Yes, one of my four kids, as is somewhat plain to see, is adopted and I made sure that I would try and be a good father to her because I knew, at first hand, the misery of being brought up by a father who hated you because you were not his — a hospital mix up.

I, Anura Guruge, the very proud and grateful son of a gambler that, alas, I have yet to meet.

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