ASELA DAHANA, PRINCE OF CINNAMON By Victoria Giraud

A few months ago I went to a party in the hills of Encino. The marvelous views of the San Fernando Valley couldn’t compare to the fascinating mix of guests, many of them in the therapy business. I spent a good deal of my time getting to know a charming young man from Sri Lanka, Asela Dahana. An enterprising, spirited and thoughtful guy, I never would have imagined that he owned a couple of local preschools but had more recently turned his interest from diapers to Cinnamon!

Asela Dahana

 

Turns out the origin of Cinnamon, which comes from the bark of a special tree, is native to his home country of Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon (off the southeast coast of India), and produces 90% of it for the world. Even Asela didn’t know that until his mother brought back precious Cinnamon oil after a visit to Sri Lanka.

My familiarity with Cinnamon comes from mixing it with sugar and putting it on toast when I was a kid and chewing Cinnamon gum years ago (it creates fresh breath but its powerful scent made my purse smell too pungent, according to my kids). I’ve since learned a great deal about this piquant spice.

Who would have thought that Cinnamon has so many uses, from disinfectant and an ant/insect deterrent to a natural preservative and a tasty tea. Asela says that most Cinnamon we buy isn’t the true quality spice he offers; some isn’t even real. No surprise judging from the list of substances on most packaged products. In Sri Lanka the spice is used in all sorts of recipes and as a preservative. Coincidentally, Sri Lanka has the lowest rates of Cancer in the World, Asela said.

Cinnamon Sticks

 

Asela had an international life after leaving Sri Lanka when he was ten. He received a British secondary and university education in exotic Zimbabwe, Africa, and in Hong Kong. Before preschools and the Cinnamon business, he sold luxury cars in Hong Kong and even spent a couple of years selling cars in Canada. It’s easy to find lots to talk about with another of the world’s “gypsies,” as I discovered when I met Asela.

America has always been a melting pot as they used to call it when I was taking high school history. It’s become even more so in this new century, especially here in Los Angeles where our residents come from every culture in the world. Asela’s been here eight years and proclaims, “All my life I wanted to live here. Never been happier. This country is far from perfect, but anything is possible here if you work hard. While places like Singapore and Hong Kong are far more efficient, Americans are very receptive to new ideas and willing to try everything. They may be arrogant and cocky to the rest of the world, but the spirit of generosity is amazing. Like Obama said, in no other country is this even possible. That really resonated for me.”

To find out more about Asela’s wonderful Cinnamon products at Cinnamon Vogue, go to:  http://cinnamonvogue.com/

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for reading and your compliment.
    Victoria

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button Youtube button