Married to a Sri Lankan…

Have you ever met someone and known that despite being different you were meant to be together..?

Love is just so unpredictable. It takes you places and even jets you along paths of life that you would never have thought to explore. I guess my journey of life and love led me to the most amazing partner that I could ever dream of having…

Now I was a girl who did not even consider the fact that I may marry someone from another religion, let alone another culture or even another country. Yet these are some of the things that make Vije so unique and so special. Although Vije has grown up in South Africa, he is Sri Lankan by birth and that has opened up a new world for me.

Sri Lankan in South Africa

Vije still has his gran, who is now 85-years-old living in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a beautiful island situated in the South of India. For the first time in my life I experienced Sri Lanka 2 years ago, when we attended Vije’s brother’s wedding. It was an experience I will never forget. One of my fears was that I will never be able to communicate with anyone in the country because Tamil and Sinhalese are the main languages spoken there. Somehow I did manage to fit in and the locals accommodated me.

What was even scarier for me, was meeting Vije’s entire family during this holiday. They’re a traditional family who’s still trying to figure out my job title… They always wanted Vije to have an arranged marriage with someone from Sri Lanka but life happens and things change. Even though Vije never married the person they wanted him too, they never treated me differently during my stay. The one person that surprised me the most was his grandmother. Now you need to understand the relationship that Vije has with his grandmother.

Matrix Reuniting SA

Theirs is a special and incomparable relationship. Vije spent most of his Sri Lankan childhood with her. I guess that in a way this made me more nervous as I was afraid that because I did not fit the idea of the bride that they would have chosen for Vije (I was not from Sri Lanka, and I do not share his religious beliefs) that she would not like me. She made me realise how foolish my fears were. She took me in with open arms and tried her best to communicate with me even though she knows very little English. I remember being so nervous, my stomach had a twirling sensation. What do I say? How do I greet her? Will she even like me?

After meeting her, I realised that one can communicate without even saying a word. Language was a barrier but we still communicated. She was the one that initially agreed to allow Vije and I to get married and I never understood why until I met her. You see family is very important to this amazing lady and all she wants is for her family to be happy.

It hurts me that my daughter has no idea that she has a great-grandmother and I’m not even sure as to when Kitana will see her again. Vije’s granny lives in the family house situated in a village up north of Sri Lanka (Point Pedro). Life there is completely different compared to South Africa. We try to chat on the phone but that is not enough.  One cannot comprehend culture and values from Skype…

I want my kids to know their father’s beautiful Sri Lankan culture and I want them to embrace their roots, to appreciate life and family and experience every avenue of it.  Right now, I wish I could be reunited with Vije’s granny. I’d love to spend a month with her to get to know her and of course for her to bond with Kitana.

Matrix Reuniting SA

How many of you have family far way and wish that you could be reunited with them? Don’t you wish that sometimes we could just afford to go away and embrace the things that we truly miss – relive childhood memories and savour time with the people who mean so much to us, with people who shaped us without even trying…?

It seems like a little birdy has been listening and decided to run a competition to reunite loved ones.

Matrix Vehicle Tracking believe in family and they want to bring you home safely. In a country where families and friends are often scattered, this is their way of proving it. The brand has launched a competition encouraging fans to share stories about who in SA you miss and why.

They will award one lucky Matrix fan with the chance to fly to your loved one, or have your loved one flown over to you anywhere in South Africa, and together enjoy the ultimate all expenses paid reunion up to the value of R25 000! Now even though, this competition can’t reunite me with Vije’s granny, it can reunite you with your loved one.

Why not take a chance and enter this competition? After all you cannot win unless you enter. They don’t just want to reunite you – they want to create memories with you….

And because they are so generous, they also have incredible weekly spot prizes up for grabs!

Matrix Reuniting SA

You can enter by visiting the website -> and sharing your story.

Follow the brand on Twitter: and Facebook: to find out how you can win weekly spot prizes worth R2000 each! #MatrixReunitingSA

Please note the competition is for South Africa only. Terms & Conditions apply.

The competition ends 3 July. Good luck! 😉

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. 2015-06-18 / 17:10

    Having family that’s far away can be so hard. I’m so grateful that all of my family is nearby.

  2. 2015-06-18 / 17:47

    How great that you got to go spend time with them. My ex husband’s grandparents didn’t speak English, but we still found ways to communicate, too.

  3. 2015-06-18 / 18:08

    First of all, these photos are gorgeous. I love the outfits! How exciting to learn about new cultures. My family lives in Florida and I am in New York and I thought that was far away! Ha.

  4. 2015-06-18 / 18:23

    My friend married someone in the same situation as your husband was in – he was supposed to have an arranged marriage as well. His father doesn’t speak with him now, and his mother only a little bit (especially now that they have a child together). It’s so sad.

  5. 2015-06-18 / 18:57

    I’m from Morocco and married to a south african/Indian I came sooo far buy that how it is when u live someone u don care about distance. I have 2 beautiful girls from him…. I couldn’t be more happier

  6. 2015-06-18 / 19:09

    I’m from Morocco and married to a south african/Indian I came sooo far but that how it is when u love someone u don care about distance it was hard for me at first to understand defrant culture almost every thing is defrant didn’t took me long to actually mix with my husbands family. I have 2 beautiful girls from him…. I couldn’t be more happier .

  7. 2015-06-18 / 22:53

    I can connect to your situation because my husband and I are different religions and it cause quite an uproar when we got married. Thankfully every one has backed off now that we have been married for six years, but it can be frustrating, right?

  8. 2015-06-18 / 22:58

    It really is amazing, you can’t choose who you fall in love with. It just happens and you’re lucky that he was the one!

  9. 2015-06-19 / 00:56

    It’s so great that you were able to form a bond despite the language/culture barriers. I went through something similar!

  10. 2015-06-19 / 01:05

    All of my family that is left is far. It sucks, and I wish I could get to see them more often. No one that far though, thats amazing. You both are very lucky!

  11. 2015-06-19 / 01:28

    I hear you on this. I am thousands of miles away from my family and it’s sad sometimes. Hubby and I have totally different cultures but we get along so well despite the differences.

  12. 2015-06-19 / 03:02

    Thanks for sharing such a sweet story! My hubby and I are from the same culture, but there are still so many differences when people decide to spend their lives together, regardless of their background!

  13. Tiara
    2015-06-19 / 03:51

    I know the feeling of being away from family for a long time. It is not always easy! You & your daughter are both so beautiful!

  14. 2015-06-19 / 04:19

    Your pictures are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing that story with us.

  15. 2015-06-19 / 04:51

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us, it’s incredible to hear about other peoples stories and struggles. I wish you the best in life! 🙂

  16. 2015-06-19 / 13:28

    It’s nice that you we’re able to adjust and even formed a bond with them. Being far away from your family is difficult.

  17. 2015-06-19 / 19:24

    This is a beautiful story, most of my family is in the Philippines which means my kids have never met them.I thankfully got to meet them in 2004 and plan to go back in the next 4 years.

  18. 2015-06-19 / 19:34

    Very cool story and it’s great that you two view the cultural and religious differences as a strength of your family and relationship, not a problem to overcome.

  19. 2015-06-19 / 20:13

    It’s always interesting to me to learn about other cultures and how their family aspect is. For me growing up on the East coast of the U.S., I couldn’t wait to get away from most of my family and my husband was the same way. We moved to a different state and miss some of them and are glad to be away from others. lol

  20. 2015-06-19 / 23:29

    I also married someone of another race/culture. My hubby’s family has been very welcoming. I cannot communicate with them as they don’t speak English and I don’t speak Korean, but we seem to be able to communicate through gestures and facial expressions. My goal is to learn the language so I can speak fluently with them one day. Thank you for sharing your story and beautiful family photos.

  21. 2015-06-20 / 06:08

    It can be hard when you marry into a different culture. It can also be very beautiful and a wonderful life of experiences.

  22. 2015-06-20 / 06:13

    Beautiful family and beautiful photography! I really don’t have intermediate family that lives far away, but I can easily imagine how hard it must be.

  23. 2015-06-20 / 07:07

    What a great contest. I love that you want your kids to know and learn about their culture.

  24. 2015-06-20 / 07:08

    I smell thankful that I no longer I’ve far away from my family. It was not easy and I couldn’t imagine having a language barrier too.

  25. Halima Shaik
    2015-06-22 / 15:13

    #MatrixReunitingSA Born and breed in Durban,with most my family here whilst I was a child and coming from a large family of 9 aunts and 2 uncles from my dads side,I cnt help but sometimes feel abit sad,as we have all scattered,the furthest being Cape Town,I haven’t left Durban and ventured out,and communicate with familes outta Durban via social media and calling,I would love to pay a vist to my special aunty from them all Faiezal whom lives in Gauteng

  26. 2015-06-22 / 22:32

    I am marry to a Taiwanese man and we both have family in our respect island. My son is learning to speak all three languages since both sets of grandparents don’t speak English. It is great that you are able to visit.

  27. 2015-06-23 / 11:58

    Family is so priceless to me! Time spent together creates such wonderful lifetime memories! Most people don’t take the time to know family members really…unless it is too late!

  28. Jane
    2015-07-27 / 13:18

    That’s a lovely story. I can relate to the mixed marriage aspect as well as the bond with a grandmother who lives far away. Thank you for sharing.

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