Meet Unid, the only known furry from Sri Lanka.

by Patch O'Furr

There’s an island off the southern tip of India, with a small furry animal on it, looking out for who else may share the same fandom. Through the internet, other creatures reach across the ocean and an international fandom works its magic. They may not all speak the same language, but they can share the art and everything else that furry fans call theirs.

Previous stories here have found furries in places like Iran. Today, meet a furry from Sri Lanka. A species so rare, there may only be one. The story tip about Unid came from Zinger, who wanted to share a friend’s wish to singlehandedly bring the fandom to his country. In return, we can learn what it’s like to live there.

Furries contain multitudes. If a fandom is a Venn diagram of overlapping interests, it looks plaid. So let’s find out more of what Unid is into. Are there Sri Lankan nerds? If a con happened there, what would everyone eat, hear or see? How about a heavy metal show?

Hi Unid. Can you share a bio, what you do, and something about you that might stick out?

I’m 23 years old now. I work in a spice export company (mainly Sri Lankan Cinnamon). Before I got into the fandom, I was a big car enthusiast. Even now. I found the fandom after meeting a furry who is also a car enthusiast from england. But before that, I had my run ins with the fandom on the net and was interested in it. I was a closet furry.

Do you have a car, or work on them, or is it a hobby to learn about them? Many furries mix fursuiting with custom cars, or even adding furry graphics on their cars… they have a motorsports club in the UK. Anything where you make and build with your hands, like makers and hackers, goes well with furries. Do you have a favorite motorfur video or account?

I currently don’t have a car, but I did have a 1989 Toyota Corolla II, which I had to sell because of mechanical problems and rusting (I used the money from that to commission my fursuit). I am not that much into the mechanical side of cars. But I do admire their beauty and power. I have seen many motorfurs on Twitter and Instagram. I really love the content Xavier Fox posts.

How about a photo, art piece, or something of you?

I have only commissioned one art work from Bramblehearth:

I’m not so good at drawing but here’s something I drew as well:

What’s your fursona and why?

My fursona species is Folfsky (Fox+Wolf+Husky). Husky is my favorite dog breed. My fursona’s colors were inspired from the car I had. It had a black coat, white silver rims and red interior. So I went with the black, white and red design with amber eyes. I chose the species because I’m pretty solitary like a fox but value family like a wolf.

What’s the best and worst part about where you live? If you had furries come to visit, what would you do?

Best part is… very few here know what a “furry” is and have a neutral view of it.

Worst part is… there are very few other Sri Lankan furs out there. And I wish we had group meetups and furcons here one day. It gets pretty lonely sometimes. I have never met another furry in person.

If other furs were to visit Sri Lanka, I would happily welcome them. If possible, I would even host them and give accommodation. Tourism is a big industry here in Sri Lanka. And I hope to one day fursuit at tourist hotspots across my country.

There’s another cool thing about being a Sri Lankan Furry. There are artworks, and mentions of anthropomorphic animals in our history, folklore and mythology. The Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka (my people), owe their ancestry to a legendary king from India who is sometimes depicted as an anthropomorphic lion. And I have seen other anthropomorphic creature art here in museums and temples.

Wikipedia: Sinhalese means “lion people.” They are about 75% of the Sri Lankan population (greater than 16.2 million). Their identity is based on language, historical heritage and religion. They speak Sinhala, an insular Indo-Aryan language, and are predominantly Theravada Buddhists. Their legendary founder:

Sri Lanka’s Daily News shares a tale of kidnapping a princess to make kittens, and father killing!

When you see furries on the web, but can’t do meets and cons with them, what does it make you most want to experience?

One of my biggest dreams is to attend and experience a furry convention one day with my fursuit.

For taking photos, going to a dance, or meeting certain friends?

I really love photography, and would definitely love getting pictures taken of me while wearing my fursuit. And I would love to meet my best furry friend Zinger the Lion in person at a con or meetup one day.

Can you talk about animals where you are… do you have pets, or is there interesting wildlife that furries might like to see?

About animals, I love wildlife. Even did a course on wildlife conservation and management. I have a pet Eclectus parrot and 3 dogs.

He’s hand tamed and speaks a few words.

Wow the color is beautiful. Here’s my dog.

Aaww cute. Is that a Chiwawa?

Yeah, she’s 10 years old and very small. She might bark at the parrot, but not too much. She is OK with small animals. She will try to scare away big dogs or chase wild turkeys.

Wow. Never seen a Chiwawa in Sri Lanka. Even breeds like huskies and pit bulls are very rare and expensive.

I was curious about your job at a spice export place. Do you handle rare spices at all? 

I’m mainly a personal assistant to the chairman. We do handle some rare spices, like circumine (an extract from turmeric). Other spices we handle are nutmeg and black pepper. Mainly cinnamon. We also extract and make essential oils from them.

There’s a lot of business like that, or coffee and tea importing where I am on the West Coast US. It’s an expensive place to live but has great food. How about your area?

Tea is a big industry here is Sri Lanka. Our company recently started looking into tea export.

Cost of living is somewhat low here… but so is work salary. $3 is enough for 3 meals a day. In Sri Lanka, getting the chance to eat out at a place like McDonald’s or KFC is a privilege not many can afford.

What’s the best food you like getting there? Lots of seafood? (CNN Travel: 12 foods you should try in Sri Lanka — from sour fish curry to coconut relish)

Yes. People here mainly eat a lot of seafood. I’m not a big fan. I mostly stick to chicken. Pork and Beef aren’t that popular because Hindu Tamils and Muslim Tamils share the nation with the Sinhalaese people. Also a lot of our local dishes are prepared with coconut.

What’s it like where you live, are you in a city? And do you live with family?

It’s a tropical island, so it’s pretty hot and humid, and we get season monsoon rains, and sometimes typhoons (hurricanes). I live on the outskirts of Colombo, the commercial capital. I currently live with my family, but in an annex next door. Usually children here stay with their parents until marriage.

I noticed you like heavy metal, and I’m curious about music there — it would be important for a fur con!

About the music, we have a lot of traditional music that mainly involves using drums, flutes and conch-shells. People here love to drink and party to ‘Baila Music’. Introduced by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. It has evolved a lot over the years.

I have had fun listening to some Goa trance/techno and I think it was a big destination for travel. Now I’m wondering if you travel around anywhere, like for vacations. Or how about politics — the American election is such a big issue that affects other places. I remember hearing about civil war in Sri Lanka but that wasn’t so recent. 

I did go on vacation abroad to a few countries. My favorite was Egypt. Also went to India, Maldives, Singapore and Malaysia.

Currently, the Sri Lankan government is in debt to China and is slowly paying it off. Not much is talked about the American election here. The civil war happened in my childhood and my dad is now a retired Rear Admiral of the Sri Lankan Navy. Dad got his officer training from the U.S naval war college. So he was in the states during the 80s. 90s and 2000s, the war was at its worst. In 2009 it finally came to an end.

Thanks for this chat and I hope you get to meet other furries off the net one day, maybe even through this story. Thanks to Zinger for making it possible.

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