sri lankan buddhist monk
10 Things to Know About Sri Lankan Culture

The beautiful Sri Lanka has a splendid array of charms and attractions that enthral tourists of the world. Indeed, a tour in this glorious country will give locals as well as tourists the chance to discover a myriad of enchanting wonders.

The island’s a culture that is quite vibrant too. Throughout many long centuries, the culture of Sri Lanka was enriched by the unique traditions and customers a number of different ethnic and religious groups. Hence the culture of Sri Lanka is a unique tapestry which is beatified by the glory of many wonderful shades.

1. Sri Lanka is a multi-cultural country

cultural dancers in sri lanka
Traditional Dancers
As it was mentioned earlier, Sri Lanka is home to a diverse crowd. There are Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils and Burgers in the country. The main religions in the country are Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The people of these different cultures co-exist beautifully in the country adding rich charm to the island life.

2. The country has a rich colonial heritage

cultural dancers in sri lanka
The Galle Dutch Fort
Sri Lanka was ruled by colonial invaders for several centuries. The Portuguese were the first to arrive in the country followed by the Dutch. The British also ruled the country for many long years until at last, the country obtained independence in the year 1948. The Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka way back in the year 1505.

3. Sri Lanka has three official languages

cultural dancers in sri lanka

The state language in Sri Lanka is Sinhalese. Tamil and English are also known to be official languages in the country.

4. Public holidays are many in number!

vesak lanterns colombo
Floating Vesak Lanterns in Gangaramaya

As there are many different ethnic communities living in Sri Lanka, there are quite a number of religious festivals as well as events taking place throughout the year. Hence there are plenty of public holidays in Sri Lanka.

Every month the Full Moon Day is observed as Poya Day by the country. Vesak and Poson are prominent Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka. Haj and Ramdan are celebrated by the Muslims. The Hindus celebrate Maha Sivarathri in style while Christians in the country celebrate Christmas and Easter with great excitement.

5. The country has colourful political arenas.

cultural dancers in sri lanka
The Old Parliament building in Colombo Fort
The political arena in the country is quite interesting. There were several key politicians in the country whose names are still being used extensively on political stages. The very first female Prime Minister in the world was also appointed in Sri Lanka. She was Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the mother of the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

6. A brutal civil war ripped through the country for 30 years

sri lankan army
There was civil unrest in the country for 3 decades. A group of terrorists who went by the name LTTE bombed several major cities, government offices as well as places of worship. They were finally defeated by the Sri Lankan army and peace has prevailed in the country since then.

7. The locals are quite hospitable

A large number of tourists who visit Sri Lanka are impressed by the warm hospitality that is extended to them by the locals. Sri Lankans have a great reputation for being very hospitable and warm. No matter where you go, you will always be able to meet friendly people who will greet you with a sunny smile.

8. Sri Lankans are quite educated

This small country is a developing one. There are several areas in the country that are quite poverty stricken too. Especially the rural areas of the country need to be developed extensively. But in spite of the challenges that the locals have to face on a day to day basis, they are quite educated.

In fact the country boasts of a literacy rate of 92% which is higher than expected for a poor, third world country. The strong emphasis placed on education in made evident through these statistics. The educational history of the country has a history of 2,500 years.

9. The food scene in Sri Lanka is remarkable

sri lankan traditional food
A traditional breakfast

The little country is fondly known as the Spice Island to many, for great reasons. The soils of this magnificent land produces some incredible spices.

The taste and aroma of Sri Lanka spices are truly unbeatable. There is a very high demand in the global market for the spices which are manufactured in the small island of Sri Lanka. Cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, lemongrass, pepper, nutmeg and mace are very popular in the country.

There are several spice gardens in Sri Lanka that you can visit if you want to learn more about the manner in which these spices are grown. Enriched by this kaleidoscope of spices, the food scene in the country flourishes too. Kottu roti, rice and curry as well as hoppers are quite popular in Sri Lanka among both locals and tourists.

10. The city life in Sri Lanka is fascinating

colombo city life
Although the country has a very rich and traditional culture, the city life here is rather modern and westernized. There are plenty of great bars, nightclubs as well as discos that you can visit as you travel in the city, if you start yearning for some nocturnal fun!

All images used on the site have been legally purchased from a stock photo site.

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