Between Bonds and Uncertainty
I belong to a small Sri Lankan community in Liverpool, who live within different socio-cultural backgrounds and are constantly striving to uphold their traditional identities. This project explores how this community has responded to the COVID pandemic, the losses that they have suffered and how they have sustained their theological and philosophical cultural outlook.
Most Sri Lankans identify as Buddhist and the concept that everything is ‘impermanent’ is the foundation of Buddhist teachings and practice. All that exists is impermanent, nothing lasts, and "everything" includes human relationships. Impermanence is an inescapable, and essentially painful, fact of life. During the pandemic, as with the rest of the country, this small community suffered unexpected losses. Their faith leaders had to contend with supporting their community at a time of isolation and reduced human contact, but still offering spiritual intervention. Practising Buddha's teachings on impermanence at funerals reminds us that nothing is eternal. It helps to minimise the pain of their separation by encouraging them not to get bound up in things.