Vairan Neelam climbs a palmyra tree to obtain toddy, the sap from the tree, in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. People who do this work must obtain licenses in order to be able to sell the toddy. Neelam has been extracting and selling toddy for the past eight years.
Worshippers celebrate the Theertha festival at Savalappidy Kanthaswamy Murugan Temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The ritual occurring in the temple pond is performed for Hindu deity Murugan by the temple’s priests, in order to bring protection for the people and their village.
Vairavan Santhalingam (left) and his wife Santhalingam Leela watch their grandchildren in the courtyard of their house in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. They moved here to build a new life after being displaced by Sri Lanka’s civil war, which ended in 2009. More than eight people live together in the small property.
Kathiramalai Vellaiyamma weeds grass and plucks vegetables in her small home garden in Vavuniya, a city in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. She makes her living selling the produce after returning from a refugee camp in India, where she fled during Sri Lanka’s civil war.
Trainers at a clay pottery training center in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, paint clay statues of Subramania Bharathiyar, a Tamil poet and political leader, and Mahatma Gandhi to be sold at shops. They say that these items are popular with tourists.
Appaiah Rasikumar makes furniture in his shop in Kodikamam, a small town on Sri Lanka’s northern coast. He earns about 3,000 to 4,000 Sri Lankan rupees ($17 to $22) per day selling tables, chairs and cupboards, which he says is enough for him to lead a happy life.
Thirunavukarasu Ambalavanar, 75, examines the palms of two women who came to him for predictions about their futures at the Selva Sannithi Murugan temple, a Hindu temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Ambalavanar, an astrologer, has been offering this service for 29 years.
Justin Pathinathan welds metal in his workshop in Adampan, a town in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. Although Pathinathan has been a welder for 22 years, he worries that the job could affect his eyesight poorly.
Manjula Swarnapali, a portrait artist, uses a cellphone photo as a reference for his latest work in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Swarnapali lives in Kandy, a city in central Sri Lanka, but travels around the country to practice and sell his art.
Johnson Arun, 15, plays football with other neighborhood children near the beach in Gurunagar, a village in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The children, who live in a residential area nearby, play football here every evening after school has ended for the day.
On the main road of Adampan in Mannar, Sri Lanka, Stanistan Stanislas (left to right), Sahayanathan Anojan and Uthayakumar Vimal weigh paddy and load it onto a lorry to take to a rice mill. Farmers harvest their crops twice a year during the monsoon seasons. The period from May to September is known as Yala, and the period from December to March is called Maha.
Sellaiah Velayutham, 72, uses traditional methods to iron clothes at his laundry in Koiyaththoddam, a village in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Velayutham has been pressing in this way since he was 16. He uses an old-style iron that is heated with coals.
Rajeenthiran Jonsan, 6; Pratheepkumar Thushipriyanthanan, 6; Aswini Anton, 6; and Arsatha Aroos, 5, display their crafts to an audience of parents during an exhibition at Ath Thayba Pre-school in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. Students were taught artistic and creative ways to recycle waste materials.
Karunakaran Akshayan (left), Thanaventhan Kishotharan and Rajeevan Vaishalini, all 5 years old, dress up as Hindu gods for a performance at their preschool, Ilanthondar Sabha, in Inuvil, a village in northern Sri Lanka. The children are Montessori students. The Montessori method is an approach to teaching that is activity-based and more hands-on for the students.