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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why Foreigners Like Sri Lankan Men

(Apologies--slow loading time for images in this post.)

Sri Lanka's finest
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As a foreigner I think I can shed some light on this question. I lived briefly in Sri Lanka--was smitten, I must say--and have visited many times since.

Of course I can elaborate on my own interest in Sri Lankan men, which should not necessarily be used to generalize.

Taste is often very individual, yet the question is sometimes asked and probably often wondered:

What do they (foreign guys) see in us (Sri Lankan guys)?

There must be a few generalizations that one could make.

  Simple as Black & White

Yes, the answer to the question here is rather simple, for me personally and also for the generalization I wish to make.

Sri Lankan men are EXOTIC to the foreigner.

And I would presume it goes both ways.

<< sultry Sri Lankan male features
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Why do Sri Lankan men like foreigners is just as valid a question.

For me, the darker he is--the Sri Lankan man--the more alluring! It's that simple.

Yet there is more to the exoticism than physical appearance.

It is not just the matter of a handsome, dark complexion. The culture of Sri Lanka and the geography are equally exotic. Why the elephants and that marvelous procession that takes place in Kandy every year!

The costumes of the dancers and drummers, the acrobatics of the stilt walkers and the incredible twirling of the fire batons...

Kandyan drummers >>
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Indeed the FIRE--I never saw that in America, where a grew up.

The whole procession lit by fire torches, the acrobat lying spread eagle on the pavement twirling a ring of fire inches above his face...

If this isn't exotic, I don't know what is. I have attended the 10-day Perahera pageant in Kandy, but regrettably only in two years. I would go every year if I could.
listen (in new window)

Read more in Perahera Re-examined

I have not yet seen with my own eyes the walking on coals of fire in Udappu; nor have I seen the beautiful black faces of the young Tamil men in that event painted white to depict Hindu gods. Now that would be EXOTIC.
Read more in So Festive an Occasion

Look at what the tropical environment does to the Sri Lankan male.

It wraps around his waist a colorful sarong, leaving his torso fully bared so as to stay cool in the warm, humid air.

original SLM imagery >>
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Wow--now that is exotic! Sarongs in batik, Thai-dye or checkered patterns comprising a mix of earthy and bright tropical colors.

The fresh fruit and spicy vegetables and the dried and fresh fish keep the young Sri Lankan man handsomely lean.

So too do the sandy beaches and salty sea, the muddy rivers and cool lake waters--they all do their part to keep him minimally dressed and physically fit.

Ceylon knows how to keep her men beautiful.

  Gentle Men

Some people are drawn to what they find to be like themselves, but I find that I am drawn to what is unlike me.

But of course, it isn't just that.

<< former Odel mOdel--see enlarged
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If I did not have also a sensibility that resembles that found in Asia, then I as a Westerner might not be so drawn to the people and culture of Sri Lanka as I am.

I feel I can relate to the men there, as one among them even though I am superficially quite different. It is not the exotic here that attracts me, but the sense of commonality.

Sri Lankan men have a mix of the gentle, almost feminine, while retaining key characteristics of maleness. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder, so I don't know if I can objectively characterize this, but I'll try...

Sri Lankan men have masculine features (eyes, eyebrows, faces in general) but their commonly slight build, especially among younger men, is where the gentler aspect comes in.

original SLM imagery >>
(See more of this handsome youth in Junior Chef)
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So too in terms of their personalities--the way they communicate and interact with others--there is a sensuality and a blending of the two personas.

Perhaps this is as far as I should go with this--it is all rather subjective and I don't know how much my perceptions in this regard can be generalized.

young & handsome--original SLM imagery
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  It's the Uniform, Silly

soldiers--often young, dark & handsome
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Then again, I have to point out the allure of the young Sri Lankan soldier, police officer, security man... This is where that sense of masculine but gentle seems perfectly encapsulated. You see the young soldier on the street with his long rifle. He could hardly be more beautiful as a youth--clean cut, well-mannered, with a look of innocence. Yet he wears the uniform, he carries the gun, his eyes are strong and his dark complexion and composure are clearly masculine.

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I have seen uniformed men in other countries, even in other countries like India, where some of the men are similarly dark and alluring. But there aren't any uniformed men that look as attractive as the young Sri Lankan men in uniform. Someone told me that the uniforms are designed by fashion experts. The color, design and fit are made especially for the Sri Lankan male physique. I sort of doubt that this is true, but somehow the color, design and fit of these uniforms do seem perfect for the men.

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The special forces guys, the army, the marching band, the jungle camouflage, even the police in their uniforms look good. In Japan, where I used to live, the police are called nezumi-tori--mouse catchers. Their uniforms are the grey color of mice, so the mice in the name refer to not what they catch but what they are.

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Here in the UAE where I live now, the police uniforms are designed to evoke, I suppose, the color of sand. I think someone's five year old came up with the pattern, and did the tailoring as well. I have seen nothing anywhere that compares to the coordination of the Sri Lankan security personnel uniforms.

  A Beautiful Tongue

There is one more thing--again, I'm not sure if I can generalize this one or whether I am speaking for myself.

The Sinhalese language spoken by the younger men, not in deep tones but in a tenor pitch, sounds beautiful to my ears.

Again, it is gentle, but still masculine in a sensual way.

I can be surrounded by the sounds of Sinhalese, understanding very little of it, but feeling very comfortable.

It is a sound that flows with an even cadence, probably due to being syllabic with few consonant clusters. It has the inflection and tone one hears in English when asking questions for confirmation.

I have not been much exposed to the Tamil spoken by Sri Lankan Tamils. I am familiar only with the Indian variety. I love the sound of this language too, but it is very different from the Sinhalese.

The intriguing feature of the Tamil language of southern India is how beautiful it sounds in contemporary south Indian music.

Listen, for example, to AR Rahman's songs in the original Tamil. Both the melody and the lyric are beautiful and rhythmic. Without understanding a single word, I am fascinated by the sound of Indian Tamil, spoken and sung. For me it is the most lyrical of all the south Indian languages and far more pleasing to the ears than Hindi.

But I am not familiar with the sound of Tamil spoken (or sung) in Sri Lanka, and while I have great enthusiasm for the sound of spoken Sinhalese among men, contemporary Sinhalese music is--well, I risk tarnishing the heretofore picture of perfection I've painted of the Sinhalese thusfar. Sinhalese songs often sound badly out of tune and reminds one of the kind of singing one only enjoys when half-inebriated.

  In a Nutshell

So, first and foremost it is their beautiful dark complexion and exotic culture that attracts me and I presume a lot of other foreign men to the Sri Lankan male.

The soldier guys particularly stand out. Their youthful clean-cut faces and smart attire, their slim physiques and disciplined manner make them really very attractive.

There is a mesmerizing blend of masculine and gentle features in the look, build, personality and voice of most of the younger Sri Lankan men.

It is a somewhat subjective thing, I will admit, but I do not think I am alone in seeing these characteristics in Sri Lankan men. For some reason it seems the general media in Sri Lanka does not pick up on this. The male images seen on most of the billboards are the cricketers, who by the way are fine and good, but they make up only a small sample of the men out there.

Then there are the male fashion models in Sri Lankan magazines or the ones we find winning the contest, but their looks are not typically that of the handsome young man on the street.

Whatever it is, there is some elusive quality that makes Sri Lankan men particularly attractive.

Some of the photos appearing in this SLM post are from external sources (often referenced) and have been edited to complement the theme of this post. I place no claim of ownership on any but original SLM images. Original SLM images are free for use in any format, but I request a courtesy link back to this website.

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Blogger Tom said...

What you said about the language really intrigued me, though I've never heard it (!) I often find the sounds of a foreign language to be part of my attraction to men from other parts of the world. There are two branches of linguistics dealing with the sounds of languages: phonics and phonology, and the study of either one is fascinating. Courses on those subjects were often my favorites in college.

I agree with you about the mix of masculine and gentle/feminine to be alluring. It may sound funny coming from a man who loves men, but I do not find a guy who is all masculine, or even mostly masculine very appealing at all. There has to be some gentleness, nurturing and empathetic qualities farily strong in their spirit for a man to be attractive. And it does seem that South Asian men have those qualities more than some others.

Military men seem to be hot whereever you go. Perhaps this is in direct contrast to what I said above about liking gentleness, since they are not usually gentle. But I do love a uniform. Not to bring up another country, but the dress blues of U.S. marines make my mouth water.

Perahera has an appeal because of the beautiful colorful and festive outfits. Also, there's something about drummers that are really cool. Sometimes I can really get into the drums -- get hynotized and turned on at the same time. So Perahera definitely has an appeal.

I already posted to the main article about the chef, but one can never rave too much about someone so beatiful, right? Man, his pics in his article are amazing! Such intelligent, beautiful eyes and face!

And lastly, that hair: man, that beautiful thick, dark hair made of such lustrous locks. Great haircuts they always seem to have, too.

So, I'm a foreigner, and those are all my reasons for liking Sri Lankan men. There are quite a few of them, aren't there?

Saturday, November 20, 2010 8:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Saminda said...

Different Topic...

Sunday, March 30, 2014 1:36:00 PM  

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