Sinhale is a sticker and a word, which shouldn’t be that bad. However, given Sri Lanka’s recent history with racism and war, it quickly brings to mind pitchforks and war. In the video here I did a one-take on it for YAMU’s new Weekly Show:
I won’t repeat the script here, but suffice it to say that the Sinhale movement isn’t necessarily racist, but in practice it is. Especially online, it’s tied up with the usual racist bullshit (think BBS) – ie, Sinhalese great, Muslims bad, this is a Sinhala country, etc. There are a lot of wonderful things about Sinhala culture, but this parochial racism isn’t one of them. We’re an island people and we evolved by taking the best of other cultures (Buddhism, chili, cricket) and making them our own. We have also co-existed with different types of people for basically ever.
Thankfully, the Sinhale scene doesn’t seem that big (right now). It is more decentralized than the BBS and has far no government support. As I point out in the video, the positive messages on our streets are winning, for now.