This is an experience ideal for travelers who seek a deep -culture experience. Most of the hotels recognize how marvelous it is for a traveler to have such unusual experience, that they make it a point to include a village walk in the list of excursions offered. This village walk lets you explore an off-routine, traditional village trail. Imagine walking through green paddy fields, vegetable cultivation in the heart of an old village? How unusual it is, crossing streams by balancing on a log, and meet the smiling locals? At the village you’ll get a chance to taste traditional rice and curry meal or, village-style Ceylon tea with a local snacks such as Kaum, Kokis, Asmee or boiled manioc with scraped coconut. Hands-on experience awaits you in many places in the village and the village folk will guide you through these experiences.
Listed below are a few interesting characters of ancient times but you are still likely to meet and see in a village.
In every traditional village, there is at least one traditional medical practitioner called ‘Weda Mahaththaya’ who is a well-respected and prominent figure in the village. Villagers totally depend on him for minor ailments. These people practice their clinical activities by inheritance and never charge a fee. They accept whatever given as a gift. In traditional native medicine, almost all plants and leaves are used to make medicine combining the barks, leaves, fruits, roots and other natural substances. The wonder of this traditional indigenous Ayurveda treatment in Sri Lanka is that there is medicine for every sickness.
When you are touring the village you will see farmers using traditional methods of paddy farming include various steps such as ploughing, which involves preparing the fields plows drawn by bulls, fertilizing with dung, sowing seeds with hands in seed beds, and smoothing (by dragging a log over them). Paddy was harvested when they turn light gold in color. Farmers would harvest their crop together while singing ‘Goyam Kavi’. The harvest is temporarily stored in the Kamatha (threshing floor) before it is taken home. There are many traditions involved in this process and you will definitely get a chance to observe some of them and meet humble paddy farmers.
Having problems concerning your past, present and future? Do you feel that you are surrounded by evil spirits? Have you got scared while walking at night? Do you feel ill luck forcing you in the wrong direction? Those are some of the reasons villagers go meet the much respected fortune teller in the village. He is believed to possess supernatural powers and help you to overcome your problems. It will be truly fascinating to observe some of the rituals connected to such practices.
In most villages you find the sound of a wheel (called ‘Sakaporuwa’ in Sinhala language) spins with a nice beat while the clay pot maker creates a work of art out of a pile of clay. Making pottery has been the sole income of some villagers for generations. Crafted pottery neatly arranged in stockpiles in front of houses is a common sight that greets anyone who strolls down the narrow pathways of some villages.
Since the ancient times, mat weaving used to be practiced by rural women at home. It was not only an income but a soothing experience for them after a hard day of work. A fiber extracted from the leaves of Hana, grown in the marshy lands of Sri Lanka is processed, dyed and woven in patterns. They produce mats, bags, hand bags and various items to be used in the kitchen. For centuries, Dambulla area has been famous for its production of mats with unique designs.