9 thoughts on ““Parana Coat””

  1. Dear Sam
    I cant remember the Parana Coat but I can remember the Kadala karaya. He used to carry a basin of boiled gram on his head and would shout ‘Kadale”. Since we were living at Payagala our ancestral home, I would see this man walking in front of our house around 10 to 11 am. He would give kadala in exchange for old newspapers. My brother and I would fight for the Daily News newspaper and collect them to get some kadale in exchange. I can still remember , as he finished putting the kadale in to a cone made of newspaper he would use his fingers and put a few more grains into the cone as a gesture of good will. That time we were not even thinking of how dirty his fingers could be and what worm infections and others we might catch from him…..oh how I enjoyed that kadale


  2. Dear Sam,

    Reminds me of Late Freddi Silva’s song

    ‘parana koott, parana koott
    pittala bottam allapu muledani parana koott
    menna genawaa – menna genaawa

    Pettagamak vithera mahatha
    perakadoru, dostarawaru
    advakath, muladeni
    andapu koott, menna genawa



    1. I also remember the “Bale” imports during the austerity days of Mrs Bandaranayake in late sixties. Textiles were so expensive due to import restrictions, they imported used clothing in bulk, cheap.


  3. Like the Parana coat there was also the thorombal karaya. Thanks Sam. Also we had to que up to get the bail at 4.00 am at the co-op store on coupons.. As for Praxy’s kadala karaya he was in vogue during our block days. As he was passing down Francis Lane next to the block shouting ‘Kadale, kadale’ someone cut a private part from the cadaver and shouted ‘ behind you, something fell’. The man looked behind, put his kadale tray down, opened his sarong and inspected the inside!


  4. Narme- Are you sure the ‘parts’ mentioned were not put into some Good Convent Girls’ hand bag ?

    OMG- this is sooo funnny .!!
    I cant remember the Parana Coat Karaya, but, do remember the Kadala Karaya at Galle Face green- that was our special treat on sundays- 5 cts for a kadala gotta and 25 cts for Alerics Ice Cream !
    Simple Sunday Treats of Childhood !

    I do remember the ‘ Botal pattara karaya ‘ and the Thorombul Karaya ‘ very well .

    I would save all the botal and pattara, and get some money from the Botal Pattara Karaya and I was able to buy a nice cotton sari with that money, and I wore this sari all through med school !

    The Thorombal Karaya- was a real treat- with all the nice goodies – beads, glass bangles, plastic bangles , hair ornaments, and other fancy stuff that I used to love to have for my self .
    My dear mother would really encourage these honest to goodness folks and help them along , in which ever way she could .
    Even during my trip to SL in 2014- I walked down Wellawatte, and treated my self to a many nice plastic Valallu- in red, blue and black that I still wear here, in Canada during summer along with my gold bangles , and the combination is very pretty .

    Thank you Sam, for this special trip down memory lane …


    1. Drsr🦅D
      I don’t think that was the part that ended on the good convent girls handbag and it was done by our senior batch Somasunderam.
      Yes si loved the Galle Gave green kadalakarayo. Those days how we enjoyed the simple things in life life and we were quite content😀Praxy


  5. I do remember the ” Botal Man ” , “Pattara man” “,kadala karayas” , the vegetable vendors on bikes and the milk delivery man. Those were the days. I do remember the “Bale ” clothing in the sixties.

    Our expert tailors were able to alter these clothes to fit practically anyone. I do remember one of my brothers had a suit altered to fit him. It was suit made of tropical wool , suitable for the hot Ceylon ( then ) climate. He had so many positive comments on his fancy suit . When he was questioned as to where it was tailored , and where he got the fine material , he said it was imported from USA.



  6. Hi Nisantha !
    Love your story on your brother’s fancy suit !, where back in the day, all good things ‘ Came from Abroad ‘ ! Yes, our tailors were experts on putting things together .


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