Kanci1 was the only food that was available in the “No Fire Zone”, the land strip that was declared by the Sri Lankan government, in Mullivaykkal2 in May 2009. Under the medical, food and economic restrictions, boiled rice with rice water and maybe a pinch of salt was the only lifeline for the starving people of all ages.
The kanci was the only hope for the people who were trapped in the “No Fire Zone” surrounded by artillery shelling and aerial bombing from all sides, while the worldwide media shut its eyes and mouth, and International humanitarian organisations abandoned the Tamil people in Mullivaykkal. After May 2009, the food culture of kanci has become the symbolic food for the survival of the Mullivaykkal Tamil Genocide – Mullivaykkal kanci (முள்ளிவாய்க்கால் கஞ்சி).
(1) Kanci is a type of rice porridge. Kanci (கஞ்சி) is a Tamil word meaning “rice-water, water poured of rice, starch.” (T. Burrow, 1984). Congee is an English word derived from the Tamil word Kanci.
(2) Mullivaykkal is a village located in Mullaitivu District, Vanni. It is along the Nanthi lagoon (Nantikkaṭal; நந்திக்கடல்), the North-East coastline of Eelam (Sri Lanka). The Tamil genocide in May 2009 took place in this village. After May 2009, the village name has become a symbolic name for the Tamil genocide.
Congee of hope. (2021). Congee கஞ்சி just add hope. Retrieved from https://www.congeeofhope.org/
T. Burrow, M. B. E. (1894). A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary (2 ed.). Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/DravidianEtymologicalDictionary_201811