A girl worshipping the golden statues at Gangaramaya, revealing the beauty of the Culture and Traditions in Sri Lanka

The delightful splendors of Sri Lanka, the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’, is not a secret to this whole world. Going beyond, it also lives with a proud culture and traditions, inherited from a centuries-old heritage. Thus, it is not only the natural marvels that make it a significant tourist attraction, but also its highly admirable culture. However, it is true that the culture and traditions in Sri Lanka are now shaped with various shades of colonized impacts, and several other cultures. Yet, this amazing diversity has now forged the identity of Sri Lanka, with a unique charm and value, that is worth discovering.

As you might already know, the Sri Lankan heritage runs back to more than 2500 years. And of course, it is through the legends and majesty woven around this  ancient heritage that these prevailing cultural values have been bestowed upon the society. Indeed, there are a good number of customs and rituals that bind along with the Sri Lankan culture and traditions. Passing from generation to generation, here they are showcasing the rich values and the grandeur of the Sri Lankan heritage.

Simply, Sri Lankan might be just a speck on the world map. Still, its rich cultural diversity is second to none of the so-called powerful empires that ever existed. While traditions happen to be prominently associated with religions, there are several aspects that reflect the most exquisite beauty of Sri Lankan culture. Starting from the Sri Lankan lifestyle, languages, attires, cuisines, festivals, arts, sculptures, and architecture! All these facets remain as significant elements of Sri Lankan culture, and exploring them would surely amaze you. So, if you are ever planning to experience this splendid island, make sure that you never miss the beauty of this culture and traditions in Sri Lanka.

The wonderful journey of Sri Lankan culture

Owing to the fact that Sri Lanka’s written history spans for more than 25 centuries, you can undoubtedly guess what a proud history and civilization it should hold with it. It is the ‘Mahawamsa’, or the ‘Great Sri Lankan History’ that unveils the delight of this glorious ancient splendour. However, through its journey, it has been able to nurture its culture in a way that leaves one startled.

There is a belief that the Sri Lankan, rather the Sinhalese civilization began with the settlement of the Indo-Aryan migrants. Specifically, with the arrival of Prince Vijaya, and his 700 followers in 543 BC. Of course, the archeological evidence doubts this fact. However, as per the written history, several parts of the island have flourished with the settlement of those migrants. Accordingly, Pandukabhaya, the third king of the Vijaya dynasty, founded the first powerful Sri Lankan-kingdom, Anuradhapura in 437 BC. 

And it is during the Anuradhapura kingdom, in the 3rd century BC that Sri Lankan embraced Buddhism. Thenceforth, the shades of Buddhist values molded the Sri Lankan culture, in a way that is second to none. The royal dynasty of Sri Lanka continued till the year 1815. Nevertheless, starting from the city of Anuradhapura, the administrative capitals were shifted from point to point, due to various reasons.

One of the main factors that influenced these refinements were the foreign invasions. Of course, they too played a major role in creating the amazing fusion of culture and traditions in Sri Lanka. Thus, their tints are still visible in several aspects of this country. Indeed, it is worth discovering them to embrace the best of this exceptional culture and traditions. So, why not? Let us have a quick glance over the foreign impacts that influenced the Sri Lankan culture so far.

Colonial Impacts on the Culture and Traditions in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s geographical aspects, its location, and the spices grown here, were considered as treasures by many overseas reigns. Thus, there was no wonder that many foreign authorities had a special attention to this magical paradise.  At first, a chola invasion took place during the earlier period of the Royal dynasty. Next, this splendid island was colonized three times to be exact in the course of the royal dynasty of Sri Lanka. From 1517 to 1638 Sri Lankan was under the Portugese rule. Further,Sri Lanka was a colony of Dutch from 1658 to 1796. After all, the Sri Lankan royal dynasty concluded in 1815 as the British Empire absorbed the island as a protectorate. Finally, after much effort, Sri Lankans were fortunate to establish self-rule for the country, achieving independence from the British Empire in 1948

Sri Lanka was popular for trade among several nationalities, especially during this colonized period. Indians and Arabs were significant among them. Thus, it is obvious, that the foreign influences on Sri Lankan culture, is a collective divergence of all these cultures. Specifically, these shades are clearly visible in the language used, as well as within the fine artistic traditions. 

Going beyond, being a colony and a popular trade center is the main reason behind Sri Lanka, to now house a multi-ethic and multi-religious society. Owing to the Dutch colonization, Sri Lanka is now home for Burghers. During the period of the British rule, Christianity and Catholicism were established. Moreover, the majority of the Hindus and Islam’s, are generations of the trade families who settled on this island. However, the intermittent connections with them have given Sri Lankan culture the present outlook. Nevertheless, the additions made, having Buddhism culture as the prominent and preserving the unique Sri Lanka identity, are simply priceless and appreciable.

Ethnicities and Religious Background of Sri Lanka

Indeed, there is no wonder that the culture of any nation is woven around its ethnicities and religious background. So is the culture and traditions in Sri Lanka. By now, you might already know that Sri Lanka has got four major ethnicities. Moreover, it is their language, and their religion that symbolizes their ethnicity. However, all these factors happen to be remarkable integrants of Sri Lankan culture.

Variations of the Ethnicities, Religions and the Language in Sri Lankans

To have a broader overview, let us have a quick glance about the ethnicities, religions and the language variations of Sri Lankans in the present.   

  • Sinhalese: Sinhalese community comes from the Indo-Aryan ethnic group, and are native to this island of Sri Lanka. The majority of the Sri Lankan population consists of Sinhalese people, and it happens to be around 75% of the Sri Lankan citizens. Further, 93% of the Sinhalese happen to be Buddhists. Meanwhile the rest of the Sinhalese follow branches of Catholicism and Christianity. Except for the Northern and Eastern provinces, Sinhalese people are widely spread all around Sri Lanka, and Sinhala language happens to be their mother tongue.
  • Tamils: The majority of the Tamils in Sri Lanka are descendants of South-Indian Tamils who settled in Sri Lanka. Nearly 15% of the Sri Lankan population is Tamils, and they are mainly living in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. Hinduism happens to be their main religion, while minorities follow branches of Christianity. Tamil language is their mother tongue. 
  • Muslims: Mainly, Muslims in Sri Lanka are the generations of the Arabic traders who settled in this island centuries back. Around 10% of Sri Lankans are Muslims, and most of them are followers of Islam. Generally, they communicate using a Tamil language, shaped with Sinhalese and Arabic impacts. 
  • Burghers: Burghers in Sri Lanka are mainly from the Portuguese, Dutch, and British families settled on this land during their rule. Not even 1% of the Sri Lankan population are burghers, and they mainly use English language, while practicing Catholicism and Christianity.   

Of course, these ethnicities and religions offer the basic element for the cultural diversity on this island. So, next, we are ready to draw your attention to the significant cultural and traditional aspects entwined with these religions.  

 Sri Lankan Buddhist Culture and Traditions

The influence of the Buddhist religion legacy is strong when considering the culture and traditions in Sri Lanka. As you might already know, Theravada Buddhism was established on this island in the 3rd century BC. Thenceforth, the culture of Sri Lanka has simply seasoned having it as the main focus. 

Of course, one of the main features that Sri Lankan culture has embraced from Buddhist culture is its charm and decency. Accordingly, Sri Lankan society practices a lifestyle that is forged from Lord Buddha’s teachings. Moreover, simplicity, mindfulness, and non-materialistic living are some of the significant features adapted. Thus, the lives of Sri Lankans are very simple, and their lives are rich with morals. This simple reason has paved the path of making Sri Lankans, a nation loved by many.  

Going beyond, Buddhist culture has a significant association with astrology. The Sinhala and Tamil New year happens to be one of the main festivals that reveals this bond. Simply, almost all the important activities related to this festival takes place according to the times set by the astrologers. Moreover, this is a glamorous festival of Sinhalese and Hindus, that showcases the attachment between the culture and the morals. Rituals such as worshipping elders, visiting relations, and sharing sweet-meats, highlights the unity and the virtuous characteristics of the Buddhist culture.      

Apart from that, this celebration is also an instance that reveals the tie between the Buddhist and Tamil cultures. Further, certain Buddhists also worship and conduct ceremonies for Hindu deities. And why not? Even some cultural monuments and sculptures related to Buddhism, have got the shades of Hinduism. Thus, the harmonious entanglement between these two cultures are just wonderful, and it remains the same even in the present. 

Tamil Culture and Traditions in Sri Lanka

Of course, Tamil culture, more popular as Hindu culture, is one of the significant and the most delightful cultures of Sri Lanka. Simply, it is something more than a way of life, and a culture with rich artistic values. Unlike in Buddhism, this religion does ot have a specific founder. Thus, the whole Hindu culture revolves around their deities, and the sacred texts. Their beliefs, traditions and rituals are all based upon this central point of attention. Further, the faith they have on their gods and goddesses, and how they respect them with great devoutness is just appreciable beyond words.  

However, in Sri Lanka, the Northern province and the Eastern province houses the majority of the  Tamils. Hence, these regions, having Jaffna as the focus can be known as the paradise of Hindu culture. Indeed, someone who travels to these areas from another part of this island will certainly face a cultural shock. It is true that similarities up to an extent level exist between the typical Sinhalese Sri Lankan and the Hindu cultures. Still, the pure Hindu culture has significant vibes of its own.     

Obviously, language, attire, and  food, remain as special integrants of the Hindu culture. Yet, going beyond their festivals holds a remarkable place within this beautiful culture. Their unique music and dances, coupled with their amazing artistic decorations, make those celebrations unique and attractive.

A noteworthy similarity between the Hindu culture and the Budhdhist culture, is their belief in astrology. This strongly remains with the faith that they have on the deities, and they duly believe that astrology has a power of bringing them good fortune. However, Hindu culture is certainly a significant addition to the Sri Lankan culture, and its charm and character is just amazing beyond doubt.       

Catholic and Christian Culture and Traditions in Sri Lanka

Of course, a considerable group of both Sinhalese and Tamils, follow branches of Catholicism and Christianity. Thus, it is essential that we pay attention to the Cathoic and the Christiand culture and traditions as well.

To be specific, most of the Sri Lankan Christians are either Roman Catholics or Anglicans. In brief, the Catholic and the Chritsian culture is more or likely the same as Sinhalese Buddhist culture. Still, a series of minor changes exist owing to the difference with regard to the religious aspects.

One notable feature of Christians and Catholics is that they weekly attend the holy mass at the churches. Indeed, the majority of this community maintains a close relationship with the church. Thus, the blessing and the guidance of their priests always happen to be with them. Moreover, their customs and rituals that take place at the masses have an untwisted association with music. This too happens to be a fact that further enhances the delightful glamour of this culture.

Apart from that, the architectural styles of their religious places are rich with European shades and valuable Catholic arts. Also, each of their shrines are devoted to a specific character of their religion, and hold a significant value in terms of their religious aspects. One of the remarkable festivals of Catholics and Christians is the Christmas celebration. Of course, its dazzling glamour further enhances the beauty of this culture. Going beyond, it also remains an important aspect of Catholic culture, that helps their people strengthen their bonds between the rest of the communities on this island.

Sri Lankan Islam Culture and Traditions

In brief, the Islam culture and traditions tend to be totally different than the Budhdhist culture and the Hindu culture. Moreover, their origin plays a significant role in deriving their cultures as well. To be specific, Sri Lankan muslims are Moors, Malys, or a mix of these two types. Accordingly, their cultural values and traditions nurture them. However, almost all traditional Sri Lankan muslims tend to be community-oriented, and they come with a business background.

When considering both the Sri Lankan Moors are Malays, the Islamic Law strongly influences the lives of Sri Lankan Moors. Accordingly, their culture mostly influences them to abide by the traditions, dress traditionally, and to follow their customs and rituals at the extreme. Moreover, they are highly devoted to their religion, and they make sure that they perform their religious activities, and live their life with piousness. Further, they use tamil as their main language.

Nevertheless, Malays tend to live a significantly different life, with a more westernized culture. The majority of the Malays do not dress traditionally, or follow the traditional Islam customs. Moreover, they mainly use Malay, Sinhalese, or English as the language of communication. Of course, they are mulsims. Still, their beliefs are quite different from the beliefs of the Sri Lankan Moors.  

Despite the fact that they are Sri Lankan Moors or Malays, the festivals and celebrations tend to be highly tranquil and decent. Comparatively, the attention that the Islamic culture pays on decorations and illuminations are significantly low. Their main focus revolves around morals and devoutness, and these aims lie as the main motives of their festivals. However, the contribution of the Muslim culture and traditions to the cultural divergence of this splendid island is simply wonderful.

Other Aspects that Exhibit the Culture and the Traditions in Sri Lanka

Obviously, it is not only these ethnicities and religions that reveal the world the beauty of this impressive Sri Lankan heritage. There are several other aspects that exhibit the splendour of the culture and the traditions in Sri Lanka. It is true that they too have shades of the rich ethnic diversity on this island. Still, as a result of the wonderful consonance among these cultures, they have now become integral components of the Sri Lankan culture as a whole. Below are such noteworthy elements that take the culture of Sri Lanka into another level.

  1. Festivals in Sri Lanka
  2. Traditional dresses in Sri Lanka
  3. Sri Lankan traditional cuisines
  4. Architecture, arts, cultural and religious places

So, excited to know what they are? Continue reading, and you will surely get surprised by their uniqueness and exclusivity.

1. Sri Lankan festivals

Certainly, if you have ever witnessed the enchantment of the Sri Lankan festivals, they are the first thing that comes into your mind, once you hear about Sri Lanka. Indeed, how they prove the grandeur of the ancient Sri Lankan heritage, while maintaining their charm is just simply wonderful. A festival might belong to any of the ethnicities or religions in Sri Lanka. Wherever it is, this fact applies to all.

Moreover, one might even feel like this marvellous island is a land of festivals. Of course, it is. There is unquestionably nothing wrong in saying so. This country has got at least one  elegant festival during any of the months of the year. However, you got a chance of getting to know a glimpse about certain festivals through this article earlier. Nevertheless, we are sure that you are willing to know more about them. Therefore, we just thought of taking you through a quick overview of the festivals in Sri Lanka. So, get ready for the delight!

A Quick Overview on the Sri Lankan Festivals

Simply, Sri Lanka is blessed with a number of festivals that are worth experiencing. However, we just thought of choosing the most significant festivals that are unique in styles, and rich with values. Just check below!

  • Thai Pongal Festival: This falls in mid-January, and is the first celebration that comes in the Hindu calendar. Further, paying tribute to the sun and cattle, after receiving their first harvest, remains as the motive behind this festival.
  • Vesak Festival: Buddhists celebrate Vesak, on the full moon poya day in the month of May. They commemorate Lord Budhdha’s birth, enlightenment, and the Parinibbhana through this charming festival. Also, religious activities, good deeds and decorations are remarkable aspects of this celebration.       
  • Ramadan Festival: This is a gleeful celebration that takes place at the end of their Ramadan month, in which they fast daily. Also, praying with devoutness, and distributing Zakat money, are common during this period.
  • Esala Perahera Festival: Esala Perahera Festivals is simply a festival that allures hundreds of tourists to this beautiful island. It takes place each year, in the months of July or August, focusing on the city of Kandy. It is a glamorous procession to pay homage for the tooth relic of Lord Bidhdha. Further, it is more a beautiful parade, that exhibits varying performing arts with cultural values.
  • Christmas Festival: Catholics and Christians in Sri Lanka commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrating Christmas on a grand scale. The Christmas Mass at the churches is special in the course, and the celebrations, carols, and the decorations, enhances the delight of this festival. 

Of course, this is just a glimpse of the fascination of the Sri Lankan festivals. We are sure that they enthralled you. Just check our article on Festivals in Sri Lanka. It will amaze you more and more!

2. Sri Lankan Traditional Costumes

The costumes of a community reveals a lot about a certain culture. So, does the Sri Lankan traditional dresses. They are unique in style, and take the values of Sri Lanka a step ahead. It is true that slight variations are visible in the dressing styles of Sri Lankans in the present. That is mainly owing to the influence of the Asian and European cultures. Still, the demand for traditional dresses still remains at a good level, passing down from generation to generation. Thus, it is important that we explore the beauty of these Sri Lankan traditional costumes.

Traditional Dress for Men

Of course, the traditional dresses for men remain simple, smart and comfortable. They are as follows.

  1. National Costume (Jathika Aduma)
  2. Sarong

They seem to hold several similarities with other Asian countries as well. However, to get a real overview of them, let us now have a look at them in detail!

1. National Costume: The National Costume, well known as ‘Jathika Aduma’ in Sinhalese, comes in two parts. It consists of a long-sleeved decent shirt and a sarong that is of ankle length. The Sri Lankan custom is to not tuck the shirt. Thus, it remains longs over the sarong, and some even prefer to have the shirt nearly up to the knee length. Generally, the national costume is in plain colors, in white or in light colors to be specific. Besides, the national costume is popular among all Sri Lankans, and they wear it despite their age, occupation, and the occasion.  

2. Sarong: Surely, the sarong might not be something new for you. It is common among most of the South Asian countries. Simply, it is a long piece of clothing that men wrap around their waist. Some prefer printed materials, while others prefer sarongs in plain colour. However, the majority of the men wear sarongs when they are at home even in the present. Moreover, the typical Sri Lankan villagers wear it despite the occasion.     

It is an obvious fact that the attire of an individual depends on his ethnicity, age, social status, economic status, and also preferences. Besides, many Sri Lankans are now dressing up in westernized costumes. Accordingly, trousers and shirts, denims and T-shirts, and coat suits are popular among the new generations. However, still the traditional costumes are alive in Sri Lanka, making a significant addition to the culture and traditions in Sri Lanka.

Traditional Dresses for Women

Some of the traditional dresses for women are not that simple. Still, the charm and the glamour that they add to the Sri Lankan women are just amazing. Here are the mains among them.

  1. Half-Saree (Lama Sariya)
  2. Traditional Saree (Osariya)   

Above all, let us have a quick glance over the traditional attire for Sri Lankan women. 

  1. Half-Saree: The Half-Saree known as ‘Lama Sariya’ in Sinhalese, is one of the popular traditional dresses among Sri Lankan girls. It comes in two parts. One part is a fitting jacket, with a wide frill around the neck. The other is a drape to wrap around the waist. The drape is of ankle-length, and it also has a wide frill that goes around the waist. Sri Lankan buddhist girls still wear the half-saree when they attend Dhamma schools, and religious activities. Half-sarees are generally in white, or in pale colours. Moreover, colourful and decorated half-sarees are common among flower-girls and little-maids at the Sinhalese wedding functions. 
  1. Traditional Sri Lankan Saree: The traditional Sri Lankan saree is famous as the ‘Osariya’ within this island. As the name suggests, yes, it is a saree. Still, the style of draping that saree is unique, and significantly different from the draping styles of other Asian countries. Instead of the fleets that fit in front, when draping the saree in Indian-style, a wide frill fits around the waist in Osariya. Many Sri Lankans tend to dress in ‘Osariya’, when they attend to work, as well on special occasions.       

Apart from these traditional dresses, Sri Lankan villagers still wear the ’Redda-Hatta’, a fitting jacket and a drape around the waist. Tamil ladies wear sarees and salwars in Indian styles, and muslim ladies wear Abayas. Besides, frocks, skirts and blouses, jeans and T-shirts, are now popular among younger generations.   

3. Sri Lankan Traditional Cuisines

Any of us would love to experience a dish of another flavor. Believe us, Sri Lankan cuisines are best at offering you that delight. So, excited to know more about these unique flavors? You can find below a good collection!

  • Rice & Curry:  This is the main meal of Sri Lankans, and it is a portion rich with nutrition, taste, and good looks. It is quite arguable whether it is truly a traditional plate. Still, considering the fact that it holds uniqueness in tastes and combinations, we thought of sharing about it with you. You can either choose white rice or red rice for your plate, along with the other curries that would be decoratively added. If you are a vegetarian, you can go ahead picking a vegetarian meal. If not, you can choose to have a sea-food curry, a meat portion, or eggs as per your preference.
  • Milk-rice: As the name suggests, milk-rice is simply made of milk and rice. Moreover, it happens to be an indispensable Sri Lankan plate at special occasions and celebrations. Milk-rice couples well with a spicy curry, or ‘lunu miris’ (a spicy paste made with chillies and spices).
  • Sri Lankan Pol Roti: It just looks a bit like ‘thosei’, still smaller and harder in appearance. They are made with flour and grated-coconut, and goes well with a ‘lunu miris’, or a spicy curry.    
  • Pol Sambol: This is a popular Sri Lankan traditional dish, made with grated coconut, spices, and chillies. Pol Sambol is an ideal accompaniment for rice, as well as for hoppers, and string hoppers.

Apart from these Sri Lankan plates, the Sri Lankan sweets hold a significant place among Sri Lankan traditional food as well. So, let’s have a quick glance at the delicious Sri Lankan sweets as well.

Sri Lankan Traditional Sweets

Mostly, Sri Lankan sweets are common during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year period. Further, they are also indispensable at special occasions and celebrations in Sri Lanka. Of course, it is high time that we get to know about them. Here are some of the most familiar Sri Lankan traditional sweets!

  • Aluwa: This is a Sri Lankan traditional sweet which is also popular as a desert. It is a combination of toasted flour, sugar syrup, spices, and cashews. The mixture is first made, and then it is sliced in a pan, and cut into pieces. Finally, they come in diamond shape, with an amazing taste.
  • Kokis: The majority of the Sri Lankan immensely love ‘Kokis’. There is a belief that it comes with a Dutch origin. However, it is now a popular Sri Lankan traditional sweet. A batter of coconut milk, flour and eggs provide the base for Kokis, and decorative molds help them get a beautiful design. At last it is deep-fried, and it gives kokis lovers a crispy sweet to enjoy. 
  • Kavum: Kavum, is yet another traditional Sri Lankan sweet made with flour, kithul treacle and spices. The mixture is first divided into portions, and finally deep fired. Of course, it is a bit oily than Kokis and Aluwa, still it has a unique taste which delights many.

Obviously, these are just a few of the main traditional Sri Lankan sweets. Of course, there is a lot more! By chance, if you visit Sri Lanka, never forget to witness their delighting tastes.

4. Architecture, arts, cultural and religious places

Literally, it is not a secret that the artistic values of a nation plays a significant role in revealing its culture. Thus, it is essential that we explore the artistic values of the cultural and religious attraction of this splendid island.

Simply, all of them reveal the grandeur of the Sri Lankan heritage, along with their architectural styles, as well as arts. Some of them hold the charm of the colonial impacts, while some possess amazing values of unique Sri Lakan heritage. Whatever it is, they signify the elegance of the Sri Lankan culture and they are worth exploring.

Cultural and Religious Attractions in Sri Lanka

When considering these Sri Lankan artistic values, there are several remarkable marvels. For the moment, we just thought about choosing the most noteworthy attractions among them.

  • Sigiriya: Sigiriya, is an ancient rock fortress and a paradise of culture, that stands with majesty. Its frescoes hold a remarkable artistic value, and its mirror wall is a platform that reveals a number of secrets. Further, its water garden is a creation that proves the ancient Sri Lankan engineering marvels. Considering all these splendours UNESCO declared Sigiriya as a world heritage site. Moreover, it is considered as the 8th wonder of the world.      
  • Dambulla Cave Temple: This is the best preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka and it consists of 5 caves. Each of these caves house a wonderful series of arts and valuable sculptures. Considering its significance, UNESCO declared it as a world heritage site.   
  • Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque: This is one of the most remarkable islamic mosques, that exhibits its significant cultural values. It is in red and white colours, and holds unique architectural values.
  •  Koneswaram Hindu Shrine: This is one of the most historic Hindu shrines in Sri Lanka, it is devoted to God Shiva. The giant colourful sculpture carved on a living rock at its entrance makes it highly attractive. Moreover, its historic and cultural values attract hundreds of devotees each day.
  • St. Anthony’s Church: This is a Roaman Cathoic Shrine, in the heart of Colombo. Yet, Catholics, as well as Non-Catholics consider it as a place of miracles. Moreover, it houses a museum, and holds a unique value among the Catholic religious attractions. 

Obviously, this is just a very few cultural and religious attractions in Sri Lanka. To get a full overview, simply check our article on the Cultural and Religious Attractions in Sri Lanka.  

Variations of the Culture and Traditions across Different Regions in Sri Lanka

Owing to the multi-ethnic legacy that Sri Lanka holds, variations of the culture and traditions in different regions in Sri Lanka is never a wonder. Of course, it is true that the total Sri Lankan culture is molded upon all these varying aspects. Still, subtle differences among several factors are visible in terms of languages, dresses, food, and beliefs.

One of the fine examples of this factor is the saree that the ladies wear. The colors and the styles that Tamil ladies choose tend to be highly vibrant and decorated. Meanwhile, Kandyan Sri Lankans hold pride in dressing themselves in the traditional ‘Osariya’. At the same time, Sinhalese ladies down south, are more interested in draping the saree in Indian style.

Apart from that, slight variations are visible in Sinhala and Tamil languages that people from different areas use. Sinahlese from down south have an elaborate language style, while Sri Lankans from some other parts find it weird. Moreover, Sinahalese and Tamils, from varying regions of Sri Lanka use different terms to introduce the same thing.

Further, the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, houses a high population of Tamils. Therefore, if one visits this area from another part of the island, significant variations in terms of dresses, language, culture, and lifestyles are visible. Likewise, even though Sri Lankan abide by a common set of Cultural values, the presence of such variations can never be avoided. However, it is never a harm for the Sri Lankan culture, but a facet that adds a sense of beauty to the culture and traditions in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Identity and the Contemporary culture

Sri Lankan identity mainly revolves around ‘Ape Kama’ and ‘Hadiyawa’. This simply means,  ‘Sri Lankan National Identity’ and ‘Good Habits’. Accordingly this is a remarkable segment of Sri Lankan culture, and is a major reason that makes Sri Lankans loved by many.

Of course, the centuries-old Sri Lankan heritage and the religious impacts play a major role in regard. Thus, the influence of these factors is clearly visible in shaping society with identity and good habits. Thanks to the values passed from generation to generation, Sri Lankans are now living with these concepts.

If you ever visit Sri Lanka, you will simply notice what an influence the morals have on everyday lives of Sri Lankans. They always tend to respect the elders and their teachers. Worshipping them is a common practice. Moreover, priority for pregnant women, disabled people, and priests are common in the course of public affairs. Also, whatever the religion they belong to, Sri Lankans maintain a close relationship with their religion.

Apart from that, Sri Lankan society focuses on a family-centric culture. They prefer living in extended families, and going beyond, wherever they are, they always try to maintain close relationships with their families, and relations.

However, due to globalization and the abundance of international media, Sri Lanka is now exposed to the modern world. Hence, its contemporary culture is mainly revolving around the modern and classical aspects along with the influence of westernized cultures. Accordingly, topics such as ‘gender equality’, and ‘Brand-New Political Trends’, are now emerging through Sri Lankan culture as well.

Nevertheless, the culture and traditions in Sri Lanka, still remains with its unique grandeur. And we believe that its unique identity, and its rich cultural values will preserve it even in the future, amidst the variations that take place.  


Indeed, these facts clearly prove that it is not only the enchantment of the golden shores, amazing cascades, wonderful wildlife, and the pleasant climate that makes Sri Lankan a significant tourist attraction. Above all, the culture and traditions in Sri Lanka offer you true joys. So, if you ever feel like capturing the rich values lively, never hesitate to plan your trip to this magical island. This is just a glimpse of it! There are many more stories woven around its grandeur, and even the travel guides would help you more to experience its delight. Even the worldwide visitors who witnessed it themselves, respect its grandeur and appreciate its beauty. It holds that much of a delight, value, charm, and character. Thus, if you are ever planning to backpack any sooner, we suggest that Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for you!