Saturday, January 24, 2009

The 2008 Blogging Awards - The Closing Ceremony

We're finally at the end of this thing and there are a few little words I'd like to say. It's been quite a reflective week or two for me as I've written the posts that have made up this virtual award ceremony. I've looked at many blogs I don't normally look at, I've reread many a post that I hadn't paid much attention to the first time around and I've delved into the far reaches of the Sri Lankan blogosphere.

In terms of nominees and awards it has been entirely subjective, based wholly on the Sri Lankan blogs I read and follow. Of course that is primarily influenced by what is listed on Kottu, the Sri Lankan blog aggregator.

I know that there is a plethora of Sri Lankan blogs I have missed out, ones that, were things objective, rational or democratic, would have been forerunners for winning every category. Maybe in the future there'll be a real Sri Lankan blogging awards ceremony, with real people in a real place. I should add that I'm happy to host the virtual awards, but everyone round my Mum and Dad's place in Richmond might be a bit cramped.

We all go through that stage of blogging, the one in which we think about why we write a blog and then we write a post about it, thinking that we're very original to be so deep and insightful. I'm told that the next stage is to become aware that we all go through the stage of wondering why we blog.

But, one of the things I reflected on as I wrote these posts, was how being a part of the Sri Lankan blogosphere has affected me, what it has meant and done for me. If this was an advert for a moisturiser this would be the part where our Jen would say "here comes the science", but it's not, nor is it science that's coming. Other than that the comparison is a strong one I feel.

It's a stroke of very poetic and lovely timing that all this was going on for me while VIC wrote his rather sensational post about Sri Lankan identity and so many others, including me, chipped in with humorous pieces about Sri Lankans, most of which could have been attributed to many other nations as well as Lankans.

You see, I realised that my blog, the fact that it has picked up a few readers, largely in Sri Lanka, with one in Scotland and another in Boreham Wood, has made me feel more Sri Lankan. I've always felt Sri Lankan, but, as I've got older, the feeling has grown, unlike my hair. More visits to the Motherland, more contact, more absorbing of the cultures and the people, all of which happen as frequently as I can manage, have all contributed to the feeling of identity.

One of my fundamentel beliefs is abundance. I believe that identity is abundant. I'm not one of those who thinks that the more British I am the less Sri Lankan I am, or vice versa. My cup overfloweth and I think that I can be 100% Sri Lankan and 100% British, I can be proud of both.
Writing is a funny thing, somewhat faceless, or at least identityless. I guess you might read my words here and picture a good looking guy with an incredibly witty sense of humour. You'd be right of course. But, your view of my "Sri Lankaness" might be very different to mine. The very first time I met Java he told me that he had expected me to be more Sri Lankan.

We pursued the comment as we both found it interesting and realised that he had been expecting my accent to be more Sri Lankan. The fact is that my accent is pure west London, I can't even speak Sinhala or Tamil yet I feel Sri Lankan. I'm pretty sure that if I met many of you you'd look at me as a tourist or a Sudda, but you probably wouldn't think that way if you're a reader of this blog. That's interesting isn't it?

Of course I do have what I consider probably the most important characteristic in a Sri Lankan; the fact that I'm so short that I don't get any bigger as I walk towards you.

I've rambled a bit there and the gist of what I'm trying to say is a thank you for letting me be involved in the Sri Lankan blogosphere. It's an honour.

Thank you to all the bloggers whose words I read regularly. I've learned so much about so many things from them and I hope it continues.

Also thanks to the guest judges. To Dominic, The Missing Sandwich, Cerno, Indi (better late than never), DD, Java, Darwin and George W Bush. They were all genuine, except one. It's no coincidence that they were all up for awards this year as they're the bloggers I admire and consider to be the experts. They were all happy to be "guest judges" and to write a few words.

This year I've decided to go the whole hog, to really ramp things up a little bit. This year I'm proud to announce a big, a special and a new award. I don't know if it will be awarded every year, it just depends whether there's someone who deserves it. Hell, I don't even know if there'll be an awards ceremony next year, what with the credit crunch and everything.

I am proud to announce the first ever Legend of The Sri Lankan Blogosphere Winner.

You know, I think this is a reflection on this person's character. I've been thinking for a while about how to write this, how to say a few things about what this person has done without revealing the identity. Build up a bit of tension, make you think that it could be one of several people, you know the thing.

And I can't. I figure that as soon as I say anything about this chap or chappess you'll know who I mean. That's some achievement, or my writing skills are crap! So, I'll just tell you a bit and do it anyway.

This guy writes brilliantly. He writes what is undoubtedly the most popular blog in the Sri Lankan blogosphere. A blogger whom I admire greatly said of this chap

"He's developed a way of writing, on his blog at least, that is identifiably his way. Mistakes, he's made a few... It's a kind of outpouring of his mind onto the keyboard. If I did the same thing you'd just see a stream of swear words and nudey pictures but Indi does it in a way that makes the reader feel as if they've casually strolled into the inner workings of his brain and are looking at how his ideas and thoughts develop, rather than listening to the end result."

Frankly I don't think I could have put it better myself.

He's fearless in his writing and comes out with posts on everything, from politics to photography to advice on how to get laid. He is THE Godfather of the Sri Lankan blogosphere.

As if that wasn't enough he runs Kottu. He does it with a casual and charming sense of nonchalence. never seeming to be arsey or overly protective of it and always appearing open to suggestions and ideas. As far as I know it's not a money making adventure for him, just a labour of love, and he pretty much lists any blog that satisfies his requirements to be a Sri Lankan blog.

I was reading some of the Sittingnut crap the other day and thinking that it's very abundant of Indi, more so than most would display, to continue to take those insults to his family and still list that blog on Kottu. I think, were it me, I'd tell the guy to start his own aggregator or something.

So there you have it.

I'd like to present the first ever Legend of The Sri Lankan Blogosphere award to

Indi Samarajiva.

That's it, really.

Many congratulations to all the winners. I remain a bit bemused and even more stunned that people are genuinely appreciative and touched to win one of the awards.

Tonight I'll be on one of Sri Lankan Airlines' finest heading to that Island we love.

Maybe we'll bump into each other.

Thank you for reading.



Jerry said...

Well done RD! Don't be suprised if you get mobbed by devotees when you land. ;)

JP said... felt almost real. May be we should have a name for these Oscars or grammys...given your expertese..may be "crappies" or "golden poops"...just kidding...on a serious note , weldone and thank you. Though I do not agree with some of the nomiantions. Winners are worthy of the honour and truly agree on the comment about Indi..(note the 2 fullstops) . It is trully big (could not find better word) of him , in that sense.

Darwin said...

I agree, I've always wondered at Indi's patience at putting up with all the blogosphere politics the way he does sometimes. He does deserve the award, so congrats :)

Hope you have a good flight back and no one steals your water bottle :) Thanks also for the kind words about me!

Anonymous said...

Great decision, He (Kottu) lead me to most of the SL blogs I love. I also like the person for what he is (from what he wrote as I do not know him personally). Congrats Indi and Tahnk you for Kottu.
RD enjoy the trip!

ViceUnVersa said...

Congrats Indi. You make me proud to be Sri Lankan. As RD says especially your outward outlook to life which is reflected in your writing and your ability to remain unbiased. While remaining true to what you say and believe.
RD these Blogging Awards were and are incredibly cool. Keep it up please. This man from Borehamwood also immensely enjoyed the many journeys you took me through your blog. From the first 'man-bag' post when I stumbled onto your blog, to fatherhood, the complexity of divorce, kids, and living the life of a true metro-sexual in London. Thank you. I am sure the 'kottu' community will join me when I thank you. We all mean it. The world is such a shitty place - it needs more people like you to bring us some relief, life and laughter.
Barrack Obama I am sick and tired of now.
So Cheers to the new man of the moment:
Have a great time in the Paradise Isle Mate!
Allow me to give you one piece of advice when dealing with our fellow Paradisians - Remember 'All the glitters is not gold' eh?

Happy trails...


Good morning. :)

Voice in Colombo said...

That was a great closing ceremony! I indeed believe, your "blogger award" idea helped to keep going the engagement on Kottu community well.

I liked your ideas about your "Sri Lankan Identity". And I am happy that, my rather "sarcastic" ideas about Sri Lankan identity, prompted you to think back, about your own identity and it helped you to sum up the few ideas you expressed here. That's what maturity is all about! That's what we see from a 30 plus (or 40 plus rather)and hard to see in 20 some or a teenager.

I am impressed! Surely, I'll not forget to pay a visit to West London, to meet this 100% Sri Lankan cum 100% Britt, one day if I happen to travel your direction :-)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Thanks so much to you for the nice words.

Jerry - I will disappointed with a crowd of less than about 100 at the airport.

JP - I'm sure many disagreed with candidates and awards but it was just about the ones that I like really. The Golden Poops has a certain ring to it.

Darwin - You're always so nice about me as well!!

KS - I think your award is probably the one most would agree with. Good to have you back around these parts, even if your surname only has one syllable.

DD - Kind words and thank you very much. I'll give your regards to Paradise.

VIC - though I disagree with just about everything you say, I love reading your thoughts! If you're ever over here please get in touch and I'll buy you a British beer in an English pub and we can talk about Lanka.

indi said...

Thank you.

Thanks for doing the awards thing, and for generally being one of the most positive, apolitical bloggers.

Legend is, of course, a bit much. isn't a huge blog and I think others get more traffic now. It is something I enjoy.

Kottu too is a very simple thing, it's the people writing there that make it interesting, and a community.

But again, thank you. I do get a fair amount of criticism. It is nice to get some praise.

Java Jones said...

Congrats Indi. Excellent choice RD - although I can picture Indi squirming in embarrassment. Can't wait to hear his acceptance speech!

Anonymous said...

superb show.. followed it and enjoyed it immensely! great work as always RD..
and yes, Indi and Kottu rocks, so kudos to him

Lady divine said...

Great work RD... and yes, Indi deserves it! and we will always be thankful for Kottu..:)
Congrats Indi!!