One thing that surprised me on my recent trip to Sri Lanka was the vast amount of Death Notices I saw while walking around small villages. These notes are a Sri Lankan tradition, originally introduced as a way for local people to learn about recent deaths in the area, much like obituary notices in today’s western newspapers. In some rural areas, telephone and digital communications have only recently been introduced, so these physical notices proved to be a useful asset.
It was the first time I had ever seen notices such as these, and while you do get used to seeing them, they are somewhat unsettling. Fresh posters obviously mean a person has just died, but there are also a number of notices that were put up a long time ago. These posters are left to slowly decompose and fade away, and so with it the memory of the person. It must be hard for local families to see their loved one’s faces slowly disappear over time, right before their eyes.