Sri Lanka has a great cultural and traditional diversity. Religion pervades many aspects of life and forms a fundamental element of this diversity. Sri Lankan along with Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and churches offer a beautiful cultural scene with their colorful rituals. Changes in the degrees of colonial influence, modernization of influences, and wealth and income add color to the cultural mosaic.
Full Exploration of Sri Lanka: customs, traditions and cultures
Religion in Sri Lanka:
The religion of the majority of people in Sri Lanka is Buddhism. Here Buddhism is given a priority in the national constitution and in public life. Moreover, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity are also prevalent here by a significant section of the population. Except Christians, who belong to many ethnic groups.
Sri Lankan religious traditions are directly mapped into three major ethnic groups:
- Sinhala – Buddhist
- Tamil – Hindu
They all live comfortably together and generally respect each other. Older generations do not believe in intermarriage with religions, but this is changing with younger Sri Lankans. Visitors will find Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Christian churches across the island. Some areas are more focused on one religion than another.
Languages in Sri Lanka:
There are two official languages of Sri Lanka i.e. Sinhala and Tamil.
- Sinhala language: It is widely spoken in the southwestern and central parts of the island.
- Tamil language: Almost spoken in the northern and eastern parts of the island.
The Sinhala is the mother tongue of the Sinhalese people, who make up about 70% of Sri Lanka’s population, equivalent to about 13 million people. This was greatly influenced by the Pali language of the Sri Lankan Buddhists. Due to centuries of colonial rule in Sri Lanka, Sinhala has a lot of Portuguese, Dutch and English debts. In Sinhala, too, several words are borrowed from Tamil.
Tamil is Sri Lanka’s second official language, spoken by about 5 million people on the island, who make up 15% of the population. Sri Lankan’s Tamil belongs to the Dravidian language family, which is predominant in southern India, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil is an ancient language spoken in Sri Lanka for centuries by ancient settlers such as invaders, merchants, foreign kings and immigrants.
Apart from Sinhala and Tamil, many minority languages are spoken by small groups of people. The most famous of the minority languages is Vedadha , spoken by a group of Vedadha tribal hunters who live in the forests of central Sri Lanka. Vedadha is closely related to Sinhala and there are many words borrowed from each other in both the languages. Also, the Rhodia community living in the mountainous country speaks their own language, which is sometimes considered the dialect of Sinhala. The Sri Lankan mouse speaks a form of Tamil that is heavily influenced by Arabic. In Sri Lanka, Malay Muslims speak Kroll Malay, a mixture of Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil, Sinhala and Arabic.
The majority of Sri Lankans speak English, so you are unlikely to encounter communication issues. Sri Lankans learn English as a second language in school starting from primary school. Sri Lankan English is a collection of unique local idioms and words, mainly in British English. The Sri Lankan English is not fully understood by native English speakers due to the accent and words taken from the local language.
Sri Lankan Food:
Sri Lankan food is mainly influenced by southern India, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Rice is an important item and is usually eaten daily, and it can also be found on special occasions, while spicy skins are a favorite dish for lunch and dinner. A very popular alcoholic drink is the locust or arc, both made from the palm tree. Rice and curry are many Sri Lankan dishes.
Sri Lankans also eat hoppers (you, upam,) which can be found anywhere in Sri Lanka. More recently, there has been an increase in West Coast Tamil chefs returning to Colombo, including the now-famous Janakan Gananandan, who spent his early years training at Michelin Star restaurants in south London. The arrival has given birth to a new generation of Sri Lankan and Tamil cuisines that combine traditional spices with European fast food such as rummedan, meaning hot chips that have become very popular among the younger generation.
“Rice and curry” is the country’s national dish. This is a particularly spicy recipe that is always served at the Sri Lankan table, as well as many small dishes. The latter, combined with love and passion, is combined with “symbols” (coconut mill and spicy), “papidomas” (gelatines) and sauces (spicy fruit jam).
Most Sri Lankan food consists of steamed or steamed rice served with spicy curry. Another popular dish of rice is Kribat, meaning milk rice. In Sri Lanka, curry is not limited to meat or fish dishes, there are vegetarians and even fruit curries. Common Sri Lankan food consists of “main curry” (fish, chicken, or mutton) as well as many other curries made with vegetables and lentils.
Tea is one of the most common beverages in Sri Lanka. It is the third largest producer of tea in the world by production۔ You can enjoy the best tea at home with a view of the beautiful tea gardens in the mountains of Sri Lanka. Tea plants were introduced to Sri Lanka by the British in the 19th century and Sri Lankans sell these teas as well as enjoy them very much. As a tourist, you should not miss to mingle with the locals to enjoy tea, especially in the morning.
In all ethnic groups, marriages are traditionally arranged by the couple’s family. Love marriage by a couple is very common, regardless of who started the love marriage. The bride and groom expect the same social, racial, and, for Buddhists and Hindus, caste. Before the wedding, it is seen that the groom will be a little taller and more qualified academically and professionally than the bride. In addition, cousin marriages are preferred in Tamil and Sinhala groups.
Among Muslims, the preferred match is between parallel cousins, children of two brothers, if the pair is the same age, it is also considered the best. According to the 1981 census, more than a quarter of those over the age of 20 have never been married. Divorce, while increasingly common, still has less than 1% of marriages. It is possible for both men and women to remarry after divorce or after the death of their spouse. However, it is not uncommon for previously married women to marry unmarried men.
Arts and Culture:
Sri Lankan traditions in architecture, sculpture and painting have a long history. Remains of archeological sites have been restored and preserved at archeological sites, reflecting Indian influence, and testifying to Buddhist inspiration.
Classical literature, too, combines Buddhist themes with stylistic influences from India. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, until literate was introduced into European literature, local creative writing has become more diverse in style and more secular in content.
Officially, their national sport is volleyball, but cricket is still the most popular sport. The rugby union has a large following in football, athletics and tennis.
Many internationally recognized sports are played in Sri Lanka. These include the most popular sports: volleyball, cricket, football (soccer), bicycle racing, and water sports.