How Do You Cite An Academic Journal In Chicago Style Grass For My Feet by J. Vijayatunga

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Grass For My Feet by J. Vijayatunga

Urala is a village near Galle in the south of Sri Lanka. His presence would be true, but equally he would be, or true. Everyday life there, as everywhere, is a mixture of the expected and the unexpected, change and tradition, performance and experimentation, results and new directions. In fact, Urala is pretty much everywhere the citizens live their lives, set up houses, get married, have children, maybe, grow up and die, of course. So what is special about Urala? Well, on the face of it, nothing. But this village has a different aspect of its daily life described in some detail by J. Vijayatunga in his book, Grass For My Feet.

This is not a new thing. Nor is it a true account, a study of social relations. And these cannot be called short stories. There are no obvious plans. Grass On My Feet is a collection of occasional or narrative, close in style to a regular newspaper, of the “letter from” genre. Sometimes something is special. Sometimes it is an event, and sometimes the focus is only family and family relationships. But the reader should not expect drama, or anything like the story to unfold. And maybe these things are best done once or twice at a time, rather than a collection to start and finish.

Stories about many aspects of village life. There are robberies, weddings, even murders, funerals and births. There was an argument or two. There are inheritances, ceremonies, religious festivals and visits to the doctor, always treated with potions from the apothecary. We entertain the Bikkhus and then do it again. We visit temples, prepare food for dinner and celebrate, and then we eat. We explain about food, grow them, admire the family’s cows, harvest fruits, crops, plant trees, climb mountains and cut them. And we also walk in the forest, remember.

This, therefore, is the village life in the middle of the last century, written as small as it is and as big as it thinks. Sri Lanka is Ceylon in many of these books and there are still English colonials in the office. There is a respect for things European (at least white and English) with the feeling that everything local is better. But there is also change in the air, even if its progress is almost invisible.

The style is unconventional in that Mr Vijayatunga’s sentences are often long and meandering, often without focus or point. But again life in Urala may be like that, and this product is given as impressionistic information about that life and the culture that underpins it. Finally we feel that we have been there, go to this village in Sri Lanka, feel its warmth, walk in the forest, taste its food and thank you for our invitation. But we also remember that this is the past to remember and, to some extent, the best reconstructed. Experiences are abundant enough to convince us that we cannot, as the authors write, understand the importance of these memories for the community, themselves. We are outsiders and remain so even at the end of the book. However, on the covers of Grass for My Feet, however, we are invited and allowed to share the life of a village in Ceylon. Therefore, if this is tourism, it is of the richest, most enlightening type.

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