First Person

Secrets of the Tea Country

When I was a child, before my family emigrated to Australia in the late 1950s, we used to holiday at a small, unfashionable hill station in the tea country of Ceylon. It was still, in those days, “Ceylon”—“Sri Lanka” came later, after independence from Britain, and nationalisation of the tea estates; the familiar, well-trodden road of the emerging, post-colonial countries. Haputale was mid-level tea country, not as cold as the high hills tea country of Nuwara Eliya and Hatton where British and island elites retreated during the hot weather. Haputale was mid-level and therefore affordable for a family like mine,…

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