Colombo, Media and Communications, Peace and Conflict

Making Racism FUN for Kids

The Sunday Times (Wijeya Newspapers) has a children’s section titled FUNDAY. The December 9th FUNDAY carried a continuing series from the Mahavamsa titled The Defeat of the Cholas.

The article has some choice bits of FUN storytelling such as: “the Sinhala soldiers fought bravely. Most of the Chola soldiers died in the fighting and the rest fled.” No children’s story is complete without lots of FUN images and this story doesn’t disappoint: three beautiful illustrations of soldiers killing each other. The soldiers in red sarongs seem to be getting the upper hand on the soldiers in blue sarongs (who seem to have duskier complexions)—one guy is even getting speared in the back (a Chola getting what he deserves?).

For those of you who may not know, the Cholas were a Tamil Dynasty that ruled Southern India and also annexed parts of Sri Lanka (I’m not going to say which parts—take a wild guess). One other point, the Mahavamsa has been a bit of a thorny issue: something about it being used to justify Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism.

But who cares? Let’s just teach our children the FUN in communal hagiography that erases Sri Lanka’s ethnic diversity.

Read The Defeat of the Cholas here.