Thursday, September 7, 2023


SCOUTING ROUND THE WORLD - Illustrated by the Author
Lord Baden Powell of Gilwell [The Chief Scout]: Published by London Herbert Jenkins Limited First Printing, 1935

'Scouting Round the World'
First Printing 1935
This morning I awoke in a new world. Through the wooden lattices I looked out on palm trees and pomegranate bushes and heard the long-forgotten calls of tropical birds piping from the garden as the sun rose.
It was delightful to find oneself once more in Ceylon. With only a few hours to spare we that is, the Chief Guide and I and our two daughters — made up our minds to run up to Kandy, the old capital of Ceylon. This was seventy miles from Colombo, and our ship was due to sail at six this evening.
So, after an early breakfast we started off in a good car and slipped along through the avenues roads that form the outskirts of Colombo, with charming houses standing in their equally charming gardens on either side.
We passed the handsome town hall, standing in its own park, and the vast Houses of Parliament. Then through the native part of the town, where the shops are open booths selling every kind of article, European and native.
At this early time of day, that is, in the cool of the morning, the inhabitants seemed particularly busy. Motor-cars and lorries and ’buses were hurrying through the streets in contrast to the heavily laden wagons drawn by pairs of oxen, rickshaws pulled by running men, and the lighter two-wheeled covered carts or tiny gigs drawn by mild little trotting oxen.
The people themselves were delightful to the eye in their many-coloured picturesque clothes. The Cingalese wear generally a singlet or shirt, a narrow, coloured skirt, and their long hair coiled up in a “knot” or “bun” at the back of the neck. The men therefore look much the same as the women, who are similarly dressed.
Then there are the Indian women, generally in bright-coloured “saris” long, thin garments with the end looped over the head like a hood. The men wear turbans of various tints, and jackets, baggy breeches, and bare legs.
Altogether it is a very brightly coloured, smiling crowd that we pass through. As we leave the suburbs of the town the road runs between miles of flooded little fields bright green with what looks like long grass or young corn but is really rice.
Rice is the principal food of the people here. Also, there are palm trees every- where, with coconuts growing in clusters among their leaves right up at the top of the tall stems. The natives climb these by putting a loose loop of rope round the tree and round their own back, and, leaning back on this and pushing it upwards as they go, they walk up the bare truftk''with their feet.
Besides palm trees there are bananas hanging in huge bunches from the stems of their plants. There are paw-paws every like melon growing in clusters at the top of smaller palm-like trees. There are pineapples, too — but why call them pine-apples.
Also, there are cocoa trees, but these are no relation to coco-nut trees. There are neat little bushes grown in rows over the hillsides, the leaves of which we know well enough as tea. Then there are tall, thin trees, the juice from which is rubber. Each of these trees has a slit cut in its bark, not very deep, and out of this a thick, milky juice drips into a pot or a coco- nutshell put there to catch it. This liquid becomes rubber for making motor-tyres, waterproof coats, and many other useful things.
Besides these useful plants and trees there are in Ceylon all kinds of trees and bushes with brightly coloured blooms. They make a glorious blaze of colour — poinsettias with big scarlet flowers and more flowers than leaves on them, pomegranate bushes in full bloom, and dozens of other plants and flowers all making the beautiful countryside still more beautiful 1
All along the road of our seventy miles drive we passed picturesque people and villages. We saw, too, quite a number of elephants. These are used for shifting timber when trees are cut down, as well as for carrying loads. They are delightful old beasts, and so clever. We saw one playing with his driver and performing all sorts of tricks.
We also saw elephants at different places being washed in the rivers. They love to lie on their sides in the water with only one eye showing above the surface, while their driver scrubs them-/ all over with a stone or a brick.
Our drive took us gradually up among wooded hills and rocky peaks where the air was much cooler than it was down in Colombo. Finally, we came to Kandy, which in the old days was for a time the capital of Ceylon. It was from here that, when the British took Ceylon in 1815, they took away the throne as a sign that the kingdom no longer existed, and that Ceylon was now under the rule of Great Britain.
Only the other day, when the Duke of Gloucester visited Ceylon, he brought back the throne as a present to Ceylon from King George. This generous thought on the part of our King has immensely pleased the Cingalese people.
At Kandy there is a wonderful old temple — not very fine or beautiful as a building, but interesting because it is a most sacred place to all who follow the religion of Buddha. In a small inside chamber of the temple is preserved what is believed by all good Buddhists to be the tooth of Buddha. If it were really his he must have been a very huge man, for the tooth is about two inches long. What a toothache you could get with a Tools of that size 1
This tooth is kept in a gold casket, or dagoba as it is called, and this is enclosed in two or three more caskets of gold and precious stones.
Once a year the tooth is carried around the town on an elephant gorgeously decked out in embroidered closing and surrounded by more elephants all handsomely appareled and accompanied by the chiefs in their splendid dresses and with bands of music. This Perahera^ as it is called, is a wonderful sight to see, and thousands of pilgrims come there from all over Ceylon and from India for the occasion.
Many of the pilgrims are Buddhist monks called fhoongis. These are dressed in a single yellow robe with heads shaved and feet bare. Most of the young men go through a course of training as phoongis^ and during that time they must have no money but live on what people give them in the way of food. This is to teach them to be humble.
Then, also, they have to do good turns to other people as part of their training like scouts and guides.
AT Colombo we said good-bye to the Orame the ship that had brought us all the way from England to Gibraltar and Toulon, Naples and Port Said, and thence down the Red Sea to Aden, and so to Colombo in Ceylon.
She was to go on from there direct to Fremantle in Western Australia. But there was another way of getting to Australia, and that was by Penang, the Malay States, Singapore, and Java, and thence to the northern coast of Australia.
Which line would you have taken if you had the choice Quite right. You would have gone by Penang, because you would see several interesting countries instead of having weeks on the open sea ; and as Scouts live in all those countries it made this line still more attractive for me.
So, after seeing a wonderful Rally of Scouts and Guides (five thousand strong) at Colombo and finishing our delightful stay with the Scouts and Guides in Ceylon, we embarked on another ship, the P. and O. (Peninsular and Oriental) bound for Penang, Hong-Kong, and Yokohama
special thanks 
Nimal Bandara
එමෙන්ම බේඩ්න් පවෙල් සාමිතුමාගේ බාල සොයුරු මේජර් බේඩ්න් බේඩ්න් පවෙල් හමුදාවෙන් ඉවත්වී නාවිකයෙක් ලෙසින් ලොව පුරා යන ගමනේදී ශ්‍රීලංකාවටද පැමිණ සර් චාල්ස් මැක්ලින් 1968 ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට ආවා . ඔහු ලංකාවේ බොහෝ ස්ථාන වල සංචාරය කල ඔහු,බණ්ඩාරවෙල බිදුනුවැව එවකට ගුරුවිද්‍යාල භුමියේ පැවැති ලංකාවේ පලමු වැනි ජිම් කදවුරේ ප්‍රධාන ආරාධිත අමුත්තා ලෙස ඊට සහභාගී වුනා. එකල මම පුංචිම බාලදක්ෂයෙක්

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