Sri Lankan Culture
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, is brimming with a colorful culture that captivates its beholders with its variety and richness, a trait of the locals’ identity. Sri Lankan culture goes back more than 2 millennia and was passed down from one generation to another. The culture of this island has been influenced by many; the Dutch, British and Portuguese colonial rulers, the Arab traders and its ties with India. Religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism – are another major influence to the cultural and traditional aspects of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan culture is simple and engulfed in modesty encouraging its people to appreciate the finer things in life. Additionally, hospitality is taken seriously in Sri Lankan culture making the Lankans one of the friendliest, open-minded and appreciative countries in the planet.
With a heritage recognized by UNESCO, the country has six archaeological World Heritage sites out of its total eight. The ancient city of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are peppered with ancient structures, ruins and gigantic dagobas. The cave temples of Dambulla are filled with magnificent paintings and statues of Buddha whereas the rock of Sigiriya is crowned with a palace and frescoes of gorgeous maidens. The above four can be visited within a geographic area called the cultural triangle. Head out of the triangle to the sacred city of Kandy which houses the Tooth Relic within the walls of the famed Dalada Maligawa. The city is also an upholder of the traditional culture; the art, architecture and music. Down south, in the fortified city of Galle is the 17th century Dutch Fort and Dutch Bungalows. You can drink in gallons of Sri Lankan heritage in these sites.
Sri Lankan Food
Sri Lankan food has been influenced by European and Indian styles but it’s still unique in its own way. The food is a mirror of the multi-cultural influence. From delicious street food made of chopped rottis to gourmet breakfasts centered with an egg, Sri Lankan food is never boring to the palate. Vegetables are cooked with a heady mix of spices and a nice pouring of coconut milk and served with rice in the well-known Rice and Curry. The deserts are an entire new feast with puddings like wattalappan of Malay influence and bakes like love cake of Dutch influence.
Visual and Performance Arts
Sri Lanka is a goldmine of arts and dances. Displaying its vibrant art though frescoes and caves, the art of Sri Lanka has a tell-tale style. The country also has its own style of dances; the Uda Rata Natum which is a dance of the Kandy and Hill Country, the Pahatha Rata Natum which comes from the southern area and the Sabaragamuwa natum originating from the province of the same name. The devil dances make use of colorful masks with horrifying faces. The masks have become synonymous to Sri Lanka.
The resplendent land is colorful because of its varying culture that raises the fascination bar up a few notches. Whatever you do, the Sri Lankan culture will never stop from amazing you.