For a small tropical island, Sri Lanka is packed with a myriad of places to see, things to do and experiences to be had. It is truly an island of DIVERSITY in every sense. This diversity extends even into the culture of Sri Lanka.
Most Islanders around the world usually have a very ‘happy-go-lucky’, carefree attitude towards life, and Sri Lankans are no different. Couple that with the iconic Sri Lankan hospitality (which we probably get from being a hub for travellers since time ago) and you get a bunch of really fun people. Wherever you are around the island you are bound to bump into some folk who will make your trip really fun and memorable.
For such a small country Sri Lanka is a melting pot for many different ethnicities. Along with a majority of Sinhalese, Sri Lanka is also populated by Tamils, Moors, Dutch Burghers, and even a Portuguese Bantu Colony know as the Sri Lankan Kaffirs. And who can forget our indigenous ‘Vedda’ people who for the most part of it still stick to their traditional tribal ways in protected lands?
The main religion of Sri Lanka is Buddhism and the better part of the culture and tradition that you will experience here was influenced by it. Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are also practised around the country. The best part about this is that we get to celebrate all the major religious festivals of the year! Yes, Sri Lankans Love holidays – believe it or not, every full moon is a holiday in Sri Lanka. Make sure to look up the calendar and find out which festivals fall during your Sri Lankan trip and make sure you join in the fun! The Sinhalese and Hindu New year that falls in April is arguably the biggest event of the year. Celebrations & festivities happen all around the country during this month.
The performing arts of the island are sensational. There are many different forms of dance and music from the different ethnic groups, all colourful and full of energy. The Esala Perahera in Kandy, a world-renowned religious procession showcases the better part of these arts and is certainly a sight not to be missed.
Some of the traditional and introduced industries of Sri Lanka also of interest to the visitor of the island, and can prove to be memorable and educational excursions. The rolling tea plantations up in the mountains, the gem mines of Ratnapura, traditional wood and stone carving, wooden masks, homemade batik apparels, handloom weaving, cane furniture, the stilt fishermen of the south, the spice gardens, and the rice fields and their farmers are but a few of the unique cultural highlights that you can experience in Sri Lanka.
Last, but not least, a special mention goes out to the Sri Lankan cuisine. The island is a haven for spice lovers, seafood lovers and vegetarians. Sri Lankan dishes are prepared to hit every note of your taste palette. The food changes quite a bit from region to region as well, so make sure to ask for regional specialities when you travel. In certain areas, you can visit establishments that grow most of their own vegetables and delight in fresh homegrown seasonal delicacies. You can also have a go at the scrumptious street food if you are feeling a bit adventurous