Only in Sri Lanka – By Gloria Meltzer


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The world today is full of grandparents grabbing planes and trains and buses and heading interstate or overseas, just to visit our adult offspring and our grandchildren … All year long, we walk around with empty arms that long to nurse the new baby grandsons and granddaughters who are born far from home, whilst saving and planning for our next annual visit to see them. We miss out on all their milestone stages of growth: the first tooth, sitting up, crawling, first steps, first words. In some cases there are other grandparents who live closer to our own grandchildren and they become the key figures, whilst we who are left behind pine for our brief, irregular contacts and become virtual strangers pining for our tiny spits in their lives.

Now I too had become part of the ‘grandmothers who run around the world to see their offspring’ brigade.

During her many visits to Sri Lanka, Gloria Meltzer attempts to understand the world of her three Australian/Sri Lankan grandchildren, while gaining a unique window into the village family life of her Sinhalese daughter-in-law. This is also the story of her son’s efforts to build and run a five-star hotel, with all its attendant dramas, in the aftermath of the civil war and the 2004 tsunami. In time, she comes to realise that her loss is great, and yet so are her gains.

A funny, sad, and insightful look into life in Sri Lanka.

Reviews & Introduction:
My latest book, titled ‘ONLY IN SRI LANKA’, was published by Jojo Publishing in September this year. This story is based on my introduction to Sri Lankan life, its culture & customs, as experienced by my Singhalese daughter-in-law, my Australian son, and my three Aussie/Sri Lankan grandsons. It’s the story of village life, the time of the civil war and the tsunami. It’s the story of coming to terms with losing my family to another culture and another country.

‘I found this book a warm, loving and vulnerable account of our journey to explore/understand the new cultures of both Sri Lanka and 20th century grand-parenting. It blends two very ‘current’ interests to baby boomers , travel to less well-known places and cross-cultural grand-parenting. I got to learn about SriLanka from the inside. I’m enriched by reading the book because I know more now about Sri Lanka because of it.’ Sandra Watson.

‘I absolutely loved your book. You have a way of writing that brings the people and places to life, and I now want to go to Sri Lanka. You’ve also captured so well how we distant grandmothers feel.’ Linda Raine

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