A Speck of Sri Lankan Culture and Customs

Sri Lankan Culture
Image: Pixabay

Sri Lanka is a land of mystery and beauty. Its history, culture and traditions remain, even today, to be some of the most exquisite yet strange to the world. Following are a few of them:

The culture of Sri Lanka mixes modern components with traditional aspects and is known for its cultural diversity. Sri Lankan culture has been influenced by the heritage of Buddhism, and Sinhala language is the mother tongue of the Sinhalese. It is one of the constitutionally-recognized official languages of Sri Lanka, along with Tamil. Tamil is the language spoken by the Tamil population of Sri Lanka. In addition to Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism and Islam are also practiced. In the present day, Sri Lankans favour unity and it is not unusual to see these four religions gathered together on the same pilgrimage site. In this country it is customary to visit temples with bare feet. Even visitors must comply with this rule.

The “rice and curry” is the national dish of the country. A complete meal of rice is surrounded by all sorts of tasty curries. The types of curry vary from meats, poultry and fish curry to vegetable and yam curries. These curries are flavored with many spices. These are accompanied by sambols, tasty papadam and various chutneys. In Sri Lanka, food is eaten with your right hand. Sri Lankans enjoy coming together at meal time as a family or with friends.

The national drink is evidently tea. It is very strong, sweet, can be taken with or without milk

In Sri Lanka there are number of cultural and festive events. The peak of the tourist season corresponds with important events both modern and traditional. In addition to many traditional events, there is the GalleFestival Literary Festival, which brings together Asian and European writers for five days during the second half of January.

In Sri Lanka, gifts are usually given at birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, for individual achievements and at traditional events. Gifts are usually symbolic and extravagant depending on the giver’s financial status.

Typical greetings depend on the racial group one belongs to but Sri Lankans do not expect foreigners to be aware of such differences. The older generation of Sri Lankans will use the traditional greeting of palms clasped together and say “ayubowan” (May you be blessed with a long life). Tamils would say “vanakkam” (May you be blessed with a long life). People generally shake hands in business and social gatherings.

There are many more fascinating traditions, beliefs, and practices in Sri Lanka.

The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka is home to many awe-inspiring ancient structures and ruins, as well as remnants of the centuries old culture of Sri Lanka. Stay at one of our hotels in Dambulla and ask our helpful team to arrange a thorough excursion and see the beauty that this island paradise has to offer.