Unique features of the Sri Lankan Culture

Ayubowan! Welcome to the Sri Lankan Culture.

You are about to witness an epitome of a unique culture that is celebrated for its diversity, integrity, and traditions that are deeply rooted in every nook of the country and the hearts of its people.

Experience warmth in a cup of Ceylonese, hill country tea. Tantalize your taste buds with a cuisine that fuses sweet, spicy, and sour flavors. Excite your kinesthetic awareness as you play a game of Cricket or partake in the various dance forms during festivities.

This is yet a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s culture- where modern elements meet traditions and ethnicity.

Tea plantation field in Sri Lanka
Tea plantation field in Sri Lanka

Comprising of a multi-ethnicity community the culture of Sri Lanka is largely diverse. In addition, the country was under three colonials from the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. These periods impacted the cultural behaviors and traditions of the country on a much broader scale.

The result of all this was the altering of the heretical and unique Sri Lankan culture. However, the output was also unique in its own way.

History of Sri Lankan Culture

The written history of Sri Lanka dates back to the 4th century A.D.

Even though there are no written sources before that era, historians have managed to uncover several cultural behaviors dating back to the stone age of Sri Lanka.

Sources like Dipawamsa, Mahamsa illustrate how ancient Sri Lankans behaved, their religious beliefs, and their overall traditions. There is a strong influence from Theravada Buddhism in shaping the present culture.

Prior to the introduction of Buddhism to the country, it is said that the majority of people worshipped massive rocks, trees, and rivers. They did not have an organized religion to follow. But, after Buddhism was passed to the country from India, by King Dharmashoka, most people gradually became Buddhists, the kings of the country built many monuments like temples, buddha statues for the sake of the religion.

The kings ruled the entire country until the colonial era started with the Portuguese invasions. It was the year 1505 when the colonization started and it ended in the year, 1948 when the British gave independence to Sri Lanka. This era was significant in shaping Sri Lanka today. Whether it is economy, culture, or politics, the colonization period had a significant impact on it. We will be speaking about the colonization of Sri Lanka in a different article.

However, even with Portuguese, Dutch, and British rule, many cultural values of Sri Lanka were preserved and are even being respected today.

Lifestyle in the Sri Lankan Culture

Cuisine – Spices and Tea

Sri Lankan cuisine always consists of a plethora of spices. Even though these spices are not always native to Sri Lanka, the recipes of Sri Lanka make the taste buds as if they were.

Ceylon Cinnamon, Black Paper, Cloves, Cardomom are just a few of the amazing spices that you can find in this country. In fact, Sri Lanka is the top exporter of Ceylon Cinnamon to the whole world.

Apart from the spices, Sri Lankan tea is on a whole different level as well. After the British introduced tea to the country, tea production has been one of the largest export industries of the country. About 4% of the land area of the country is covered in tea plantations. The annual production is about 340 million kilograms which are mostly handpicked. Unlike the CTC method practiced worldwide, about 93% of the tea production of the country is conducted according to artisanal and orthodox methods making the tea high quality all the time.

Festivities and Holidays

Being a small country with multi-ethnicities, the average Sri Lankan year has a series of holidays and many festivals.

The Independence Day of Sri Lanka, which is the day that Sri Lanka was given freedom by the British in 1948 is on February 4th. This day is celebrated by every Sri Lankan alike regardless of ethnicity.

Apart from that, most other festivals are religion or ethnicity-based. For example, the Buddhists celebrate the Vesak festival commemorating the birth, the enlightenment, and the Parinirwana of their religious leader, The Buddha in the month of May. And also, they have various festivities associated with the Poya days (Full-moon days) There are various special incidents of the Buddha associated with each and every one of them. The Asala perahara is also another wonderful event you only get to see in Sri Lanka.

Some other notable festivals that the Sri Lankans also celebrate include Thai Pongal, a Hindu harvest festival, Hajji, an Islam festival, and other various religious festivals. In addition, there are Christian festivals such as Good Friday, etc.

At its core, Sri Lanka has many religious festivals and holidays in general.

Among all of these, the Sinhala and Tamil new year also is very special, and Sinhalese and the Tamils unite to celebrate the new year. They also give out new year special treats and sweets to all the neighbors including the Christians and the Muslims as well.

We’d be stopping here in hopes of continuing the post in another article. We will keep you updated with our newsletters and notifications. Join our e-mail list to obtain e-mail only content on culture, history, and literature.

Until next time, have a great time!

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Ayubowan! Welcome to the Sri Lankan Culture.You are about to witness an epitome of a unique culture that is celebrated for its diversity, integrity, and traditions that are deeply rooted in every nook of the country and the hearts of its people.

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Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate strategy foster collaborative thinking to further the overall value proposition. Organically grow the holistic world view of disruptive innovation via workplace diversity and empowerment.Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate and empowerment.

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Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate strategy foster collaborative thinking to further the overall value proposition. Organically grow the holistic world view of disruptive innovation via workplace diversity and empowerment.Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate strategy foster collaborative thinking to further the overall value proposition. Organically grow the holistic world view of disruptive innovation via workplace diversity and empowerment.

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