.by Anura Guruge
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I had an e-mail this morning from one of my (many) cousins in Sri Lanka that he had visited the ‘Book Ship’ “Logos Hope”, at the (famed) Colombo harbor, and had bought himself an Atlas. He asked me whether I was familiar with the ship. I was not. I knew of the various floating universities, and even remembered visiting one in that very same harbor, 50 years ago.
He, as is his wont, send me an URL to a local newspaper with a story about the ship.
Being the cynical soul that I am, I needed more ‘G2’ especially given the name. So, as is my wont, I Googled it.
Wikipedia, had all that I needed to know:
All was clear and I fully understood the motivation and name.
I find it amusing that the ‘Daily News‘, that used to be quite a newspaper when I was young (albeit that being 50 years ago), totally missed the point.
My cousin too had not noticed. Not that it matters.
Missionaries, of all flavors, have been visiting Sri Lanka, with mixed success for nearly 3,000 years. All the major religions in Sri Lanka are obviously imports, viz. Buddhism (˜70% I think), Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. We don’t have many from the Judaic persuasion as this true story (retold by me (and you really must read it)) exemplifies — though there is a movement afoot (supported by a couple of my cousins) to prove that the (last) Buddha was born in Sri Lanka (as opposed to India). Yep, pigs will fly. My ‘immediate’ family, though I now realize I was adopted (actually a mix up at the hospital à la ‘The Other Son‘, was a mix of Buddhists, Baptists and Catholics, with my surrogate father (as opposed to my adoptive father), a Baptist.
OK, I will confess. Efforts to evangelize Sri Lankans, into any religion, bothers me. As the newspaper article indicates we tend to me ‘trusting’ folks, easily swayed. It is like giving candy to kids. But … My cousin was happy. He paid about $5 (in Rupees) for an good world Atlas from the U.S. He got a deal.