Unchanged Melody

Sri Lankans may be avid fans of Baywatch dubbed in Sinhala and Sex and the City on Sundays, but divorce and pre-marital sex are still a big no no. Sri Lankans may be avid fans of Baywatch dubbed in Sinhala and Sex and the City on Sundays, but divorce and pre-marital sex are still a big no no. This, as Dr. Uditha Liyanage, senior lecturer, Post Graduate Institute of Management, Sri Jayawardenepura University, puts it, “is the paradox of the Sri Lankan consumer.”

The older generation can sniff disapprovingly and scream cultural degradation, but Sri Lankan girls are increasingly opting for denims, short skirts, short hair, make up and cosmetics.

Boys are no better, going for gelled hair, ‘attitude’, Coca-Cola and western music.

But the most recent youth Survey in 2000 found that 65 percent of young people disapproved of divorce and 76 percent still saw premarital sex as bad.

Homosexuality, abortion, prostitution and the use of drugs all met with an over 80 percent disapproval rating.

All strong indicators that the cultural changes so far, are only skin deep.

“Sri Lankans aspire to a western, consumerist life style but