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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1590

Do we see coconut being scraped in any of our kitchens, these days?

S.H.Moulana - Riyadh

Did anyone of us think during our childhood that a ‘hiramaney’ – coconut scraper –could become a museum piece one day! That is what it is now and how many of our present day kids know what a ‘hiramaney’ is? I guess none.

The old fashioned sitting model was replaced by the table fixed hand operated unit and now that too has vanished since supermarkets have taken up the service of scraping coconut by electrically operated machine.

Some we know even opt for coconut powder in packets shunning the traditional fresh scraped coconut. I started on this ‘hiramaney’ story to point out how fast our life style is changing. We have moved away from our traditional Sri Lankan diet to a fast food culture and low physical activity. Except for the preparation of lunch, I don’t think, there is activity in any kitchen to prepare either a ‘home cooked’ breakfast or dinner. Obesity is increasing owing to demographic changes, urbanization and life style changes that took place during the past decades or so.

Most of the risk factors are behavior related and hence influenced by urbanization and unhealthy life styles. The prevalence of obesity was estimated to be 20.3% in men and 36.5% in women in four provinces in Sri Lanka, the highest prevalence being in the more urbanized Western Province.

A medical doctor disclosed to me that he had first-hand experience that there is an alarming increase of diabetes in his clinic which has doubled over the last decades in both men and women due to obesity. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and increased health problems.

Dieting and physical exercise are the mainstays of treatment for obesity. Doctors advise the intake of fresh vegetable and fruits and minimize consuming fatty food to counter this ever increasing menace. I pity all those who miss the opportunity of tasting the mouth-watering traditional Sri Lankan dishes prepared by our parents and grandparents using clay pots, fire wood and the ‘hiramaney’ of course! How can one forget the ‘wangediya’ and the ‘mirisgala’ which were contributing to add the extra flavor to our own food while indirectly providing the services of the modern day gym within our kitchens for our ladies of yester year.

Unfortunately, the electric grinder has replaced these ‘museum pieces’ depriving our ladies of any light work-out. Can anyone remember when he/she tasted home prepared string-hoppers or pittu last?

A home baked egg hopper supposed to be Sir John’s favorite or a piece of kiribath SWRD’s much loved delicacy?

I don’t want to tempt the readers any more but sadly they all have become the memories of the past for better or worse, for me it is definitely for worse!

- Asian Tribune -

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