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#YQrtw recap: Apr 11 Sri Lanka: A study of Sri Lankan music videos - YQtravelling

#YQrtw recap: Apr 11 Sri Lanka: A study of Sri Lankan music videos

I’m recapping my round-the-world trip from 2013 with a photo from each day of the trip and a memory associated with that day which might or might not be related to the photo.

Incense stall in Kandy full of stock for the New Year.
Incense stall in Kandy full of stock for the New Year.

This post is surprisingly long because I’ve kept a draft of the story since November 2014.

A study of Sri Lankan music videos

On my journey from Anuradapura to Kandy, I was crammed in a mini bus overloaded with passengers. My oversized backpack was balanced on one thigh while my carry-on on my other thigh.

The trip might have been a disaster if it weren’t for the small TV set behind the driver’s seat. All throughout the journey, it played music videos after music videos.

Besides two videos related to Gangnam Style [footnote: A very popular video in 2012 featuring a Korean man jumping around like he is riding a horse] (Yuuna sexy version and NASA parody), the rest of the videos seemed to be Sri Lankan.I watched the video like a film critic would for a film in the running for an Oscar. How were the production? Lighting? Storyline?

What’s in a Sri Lankan music video

Based on my sample of about 50 videos, I conclude that 98 percent of Sri Lankan pop songs are sad romance while the rest of the 2 percent are happy songs with comedic music videos.

Despite all this, the music videos had story lines that were similar but different. They all involve flashbacks with the lead character looking forlornly at a photograph of someone who should be their former lover.

Example Video 1

One video had a man standing at the edge of a cliff. Then WHAM we flashback to scenes of him and a curvy lady frolicking around the same place where he is now at.

The love story seems to be going well until they quarrel. Then the man runs away. The woman cries tearfully, pauses and runs out too.

As she runs, we find her in somewhere familiar. She pauses with a shocked look on her face. And the video ends.

Aw! We want to know the ending. Did he jump or not?

Example Video 2

In another video, we see a painter painting in a park.

Flash back, the painter is now an arts teacher. A student has a crush on him. She stays after school so she can hang out with him.

On what-seems-to-be graduation day, she gives him something. He refuses it. Our leading lady flees away in tears.

We fast forward to the future to the first scne where the arts teacher is still painting. A woman, holding arms with a man walks to the painter. She greets him.

Turns out she was the student. The happy couple leaves. The painter looks sadly at his painting and we are flashed to a scene of him holding a portrait of the girl.

How noble of him to not accept the advances of a minor but still keep his torch for her after all these years.

What I like about Sri Lankan music video

I like that the leading ladies in the music videos are curvy. It’s a refreshing change from the stick-thin, busty ladies in rap videos from the west.

I’m not sure if all Sri Lankan songs are so melodramatic that the videos feel like mini soap operas.


Have you seen music videos from other countries? Have you spotted anything interesting about them?


Read the original post from 2013:

Sri Lanka: Entering Kandy [YQrtw Day 4 Apr 11]


More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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